Under consideration for a pair of World Championship races, Runnymede Farm team has decided to run homebred Rogue Romance in the the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs.
The decision was declared on Oct. 28 by Runnymede chairman Catesby W. Clay, in whose silks the chestnut son of Smarty Jones has won two of his three starts, all of which have been on turf. He had also been pre-entered in the $1 million Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT).
Runnymede and trainer Ken McPeek have secured top jockey Julien Leparoux to ride the chestnut colt.
“The team at Runnymede feels that the Juvenile is the right race for Rogue Romance and we are delighted that Julien has accepted the ride,” Clay said.
Rogue Romance enters the Juvenile off two consecutive wins, both over 1 1/16 miles on grass. The first was a maiden special weight race at Saratoga and the most recent in the Bourbon Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland on Oct. 10. Leparoux guided the colt to both victories.
“Rogue Romance’s breeding and his training during the summer over the main track at Saratoga indicate he will perform well on the dirt,” Runnymede general manager Martin O’Dowd said. “He’s bred top and bottom for it and everything about his conformation suggests the dirt. His talent is what has propelled him to his success on the turf.”
McPeek will send Rogue Romance out for his final timed work at Keeneland on Oct. 30. Originally, the colt was to have worked that morning at Churchill, but the decision was made not to ship him to the Louisville track until after the effort.
“He’s happy at Keeneland. After the work, he will go to Churchill and get familiar with the surroundings there,” O’Dowd said.
While Runnymede is the oldest continually operated Thoroughbred nursery in Kentucky, founded by Clay’s grandfather Col. Ezekiel Clay in 1867, Rogue Romance will be the first horse to carry the family’s traditional green and black colors in a Breeders’ Cup race.