Runaway Lion ~ Mystery Horse
Pedigree: Lion Heart-Wild Goose Chase by Dynaformer
Owner: K 5 Stables Trainer: Shelley Brown Jockey: Trevor Simpson
On form Runaway Lion might not look like this year’s Manitoba Lotteries Derby winner, but they run horse races for a reason, and this horse is a player based on the on the strength of his connections alone.
K 5 Stables have won the Manitoba Derby twice, in 1996 with Northernprospector and in 1991 with Plenty Chilly. Runaway Lion is not as accomplished as those runners were when they ran in the Manitoba Derby, but he was beaten only 6 ½-lengths in his first start this year by 2012 Queen’s Plate winner Strait of Dover.
Runaway Lion also showed talent when he broke his maiden by 9-1/2 lengths as a 2-year-old in his first lifetime start at Woodbine going seven furlongs for a tag of $50,000. That was the race K 5 Stables claimed him out of him with an eye to running in the 2012 Manitoba Derby.
K 5 Stables is owned by Phil Kives, who was born the year the stock market crashed in 1929 on a small farm near the town of Oungre, Saskatchewan and went on to become famous as the head of K-tel International with products such as the Miracle Brush, Veg-O-Matic and Patti-Stacker, not to mention selling more than half a billion records such as “Hooked on Classics” worldwide. The inventor of the modern infomercial, Kives was inducted into the Canadian Professional Sales Hall of Fame in 2002, but he learned early in his sales career that only the strong survive.
Kives applied the same lessons he learned in business to the horses to become the winningest owner and breeder in Assiniboia Downs’ history. One of his smartest decisions was hiring trainer Shelley Brown three years ago. If anyone can turn a horse around locally, it’s Brown. The question is whether she has had enough time with Runaway Lion.
The 39-year-old Regina-born trainer currently sits atop the trainer standings at Assiniboia Downs with 24 wins in only her fourth year as a trainer, and in this case it’s a direct indication of both her talent as a horsewoman and her reputation as one of the best caretakers of horses on the grounds.
Runaway Lion is slated to be ridden by 4-time Jamaican champion jockey Trevor Simpson. One of the strongest finishers in the local jockey colony, Simpson has quietly been moving up in the standings in his first year here and currently sits sixth with 20 wins. Simpson won the $30,000 CANSTAR Canada Day Stakes here on July 1 by an astonishing 13 ¾-lengths aboard K 5 Stable’s Golden Stripe.
Just before arriving in Canada this spring, Simpson won Jamaica’s prestigious 1,000 Guineas on a 99-1 shot.