Bullet for Gun Runner


Gun Runner | Coady Photography

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm's Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}), scheduled to ship to California Monday morning ahead of a tilt at the Nov. 4 GI Breeders' Cup Classic, turned in a bullet five-furlong breeze in :59.80 at Churchill Downs Sunday. Jockey Florent Geroux started Gun Runner off two lengths behind stakes-placed workmate Gettysburg (Pioneerof the Nile) and worked in splits of :24.40 and :35.60 before finishing even at the wire and galloping out six furlongs in 1:13 and seven furlongs in 1:27.80, according to Churchill Downs' clocker John Nichols.

“He felt great,” Geroux said. “He worked with a nice horse and did everything perfectly. He typically doesn't do anything fancy in his works and today was no different. He did everything on his own and I just wanted to keep him happy. He's really turned into a faster and stronger horse this year. I think back last year and he acted like a teenager and this year he's grown into a man. When I'm on his back, I feel like I don't have to help him as much because he does everything so well on his own.”

Second behind Arrogate (Unbridled's Song) in the Mar. 25 G1 Dubai World Cup, Gun Runner returned stateside to record dominating victories in the June 17 GI Stephen Foster H., Aug. 5 GI Whitney S. and Sept. 2 GI Woodward S. He is expected to train up to the Classic.

“There's a fine line of being prepared and over prepared,” Three Chimneys's Chief Operating Officer Chris Baker said. “[Trainer] Steve [Asmussen] and his team have done a masterful job at keeping him in the right spot his entire career, especially this year.”

Winchell racing manager David Fiske added, “I've told Steve before you can put a green screen behind Gun Runner and he'd work the same on any racetrack in the country. He has his workmate Gettysburg and they seem to be a well-matched pair. Everything went according to plan and we'll see how he comes out of the workout. He's scheduled to fly to Santa Anita [Monday]. Steve's had a fair amount of success flying out to California early. So, it's pretty much standard. He'll train up to the Breeders' Cup.”

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