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Runaway Groom

Runaway Groom
Sire Blushing Groom
Dam Yonnie Girl
Grandsire Red God
Damsire Call The Witness
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1979
Country Canada
Color Gray
Breeder Gardiner Farms
Owner Albert J. Coppola
Trainer John DiMario
Charlie Whittingham
Record 18-6-5-1
Earnings $347,537
Runaway Groom is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Yonnie Girl by Blushing Groom. He was born around 1979 in Canada, and was bred by Gardiner Farms.
Major wins
Prince of Wales Stakes (1982)
Breeders' Stakes (1982)
Travers Stakes (1982)
Canadian Champion 3-Yr-Old- Colt (1982)
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (2001)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on March 15, 2007

Runaway Groom (1979-2007) was a Canadian Hall of Fame Thoroughbred racehorse. Bred by Gardiner Farms in Caledon, Ontario, Runaway Groom was sired by the prominent Nearco descendant Blushing Groom out of the mare Yonnie Girl. He was purchased as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton sale in Kentucky by New Yorker Albert J. Coppola [1] who only realized later that the colt's birthplace meant he qualified for the Canadian Triple Crown series.

Runaway Groom did not race at age two but, trained by another New Yorker, John DiMario, began his career in the spring of 1982 at age three. Racing in Kentucky, he won two of his first four races then was sent to Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack for the Queen's Plate, the most prestigious race in Canada and the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown series. Under jockey Robin Platts, the lightly-regarded Runaway Groom surprised fans and bettors as he finished a solid second behind Son of Briartic. In the ensuing Prince of Wales Stakes, Runaway Groom turned the tables on the Plate winner, winning it as well as the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Breeders' Stakes.

Brought to New York to compete, Runaway Groom won an allowance race at Belmont Park before being sent to compete in Saratoga Race Course's premier event, the Grade I Travers Stakes. Up against a very strong field, bettors sent the colt off at 13-1 odds but under Canadian jockey Jeffrey Fell, Runaway Groom won the race, marking the only time in American racing history that a horse has beaten the Kentucky Derby winner (Gato Del Sol), the Preakness Stakes winner (Aloma's Ruler), and the Belmont Stakes winner (Conquistador Cielo) in the same race.

For his 1982 performances, Runaway Groom earned Canadian Champion 3-Yr-Old- Colt honors. Raced at age four in California, his conditioning was taken over by Charles Whittingham but his best graded stakes race result before retiring to stud duty was a third in the 1983 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar Racetrack.

Sent to the Vinery breeding farm in Lexington, Kentucky, Runaway Groom had a long and successful stallion. He sired a number of Graded stakes race winners including Cherokee Run who won the 1994 Breeders' Cup Sprint plus 2006 Sunshine Millions Oaks and 2007 Sunshine Millions Distaff winner Joint Effort as well as multiple stakes winning millionaires, Down The Aisle, Wekiva Springs and the Japanese runner, Machikane Hokushin.

In 2001, Runaway Groom was inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. In February 2007, the 28-year-old horse was pensioned from stud duty having sired sixty stakes race winners and twenty-seven graded stakes winners.

On June 8th, 2007, Runaway Groom was humanely euthanized due to the infirmities of old age.



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