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Ready to Runaway: A First Dude Odyssey
Published: Friday, July 5, 2019

Horsemen in Minnesota will probably be talking for some time about Ready to Runaway's victory yesterday in the Frances A. Genter Stakes at Canterbury Park. Not just because the 3-year-old First Dude filly won so easily in the $50,000 race, but by the bizarre events leading up to her fifth career start, and third victory.

Ready to Runaway was bred in Minnesota by Wildcat Ranch and sold to Jason Bullard's Empire Racing at the 2017 Minnesota yearling sale for what has since turned out to be a bargain $4,000. She made her 2-year-old debut in a $40,000 maiden claimer at Canterbury and won by a head, earning $13,800. She then went to the sidelines, not returning for 8 1/2 months until May 4, when she finished second in an allowance race and collected $6,900.

Three weeks later, Ready to Runaway was back in another allowance race and finished second again, earning $7,250. Her take for three races at this time was $27,950, so it was a head-scratcher when she turned up in a $25,000 claimer on June 22. To nobody's surprise, she won the 5 1/2-furlong race by 7 1/4 lengths - at odds of 20 cents to a dollar - and was claimed by owner John Mentz and trainer McLean Robertson. She earned an additional $9,600 for a total of $37,550 racing for Empire. But Empire no longer had the filly. 

The new owner-trainer duo wasted little time getting Ready to Runaway back in action - just 12 days - and the filly responded with her easy July 4 score, good for a check for $30,000 and giving First Dude his third stakes-winner of 2019. 

It will be interesting to follow the fortunes of Ready to Runaway and see how this odd scenario plays out. 

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