King of Happiness, an impressive winner of the $62,000 allowance feature on the Hollywood Park turf Thursday is headed for bigger things. But the victory was bittersweet for trainer Neil Drysdale, who was out of the country due to the death of his mother.
The 5-year-old English import overtook Captain Squire at the top of the stretch en route to a powerful time of 1:39 1/5 for 1 1/16 miles on the firm course under Kent Desormeax. But the Drysdale stable was in mourning because of the death of the Hall of Fame conditioner's mother.
The Hall of Fame trainer was in England for the funeral, scheduled for Friday. Drysdale's mother, Mardi, died last week at age 87.
Assistant trainer John O'Donoghue saddled King of Happiness in Drysdale's absence. "He ran real well, and if he comes out of the race well, we will consider the Shoemaker," said O'Donoghue Friday of the $350,000-added Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) on turf on May 31.
King of Happiness, a chestnut son of Spinning World, is owned by Maktoum al Maktoum.
"He's been a lucky owner for us in the Shoemaker," said O'Donoghue of the Dubai-based sheikh.
Drysdale sent out stablemates Irish Prize and Touch of the Blues to a one-two finish in the 2001 Shoemaker for Maktoum al Maktoum after saddling the 1998 Shoemaker winner, Labeeb, for him.