Sale-Topping Sierra Leone 'Guns' To Rising Stardom

Sierra Leone | Coglianese

When you sell for a sale-topping $2.3m as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton's New York Saratoga Sale to connections like White Birch Farm and M. V. Magnier, the expectations are going to be sky high. And while Sierra Leone (c, 2, Gun Runner–Heavenly Love, by Malibu Moon) proved he still has a lot to learn but still showed enough ability in the end to graduate at first asking and become the latest 'TDN Rising Star' for Three Chimney's super-stallion Gun Runner.

Facing a field of mostly more experienced runners, the 3-1 shot had to contend with another million-dollar purchase in Change of Command (Into Mischief) from the inside along with the younger half-brother to dual GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Cody's Wish in Hunt Ball (Into Mischief). A step slow from a middle gate, Sierra Leone was quickly outrun into the opening furlong and dropped back to beat only runner while taking dirt from nearly the entire field. Caught in tight quarters into the turn in this one-mile event, he had to back out and faced a wall of horses with a quarter mile to run. Jockey Manny Franco moved to angle his mount to the outside but Sierra Leone ducked out sharply on the wrong lead, lugged back in toward the rail and then drifted back out before finally swapping leads right at the furlong marker. Finally in the clear, he came sweeping past the inside leaders and won going away despite still needing to be straightened out when passing horses.

The second foal out of GI Darley Alcibiades S. winner Heavenly Love, Seirra Leone is from the extended female family of Japanese Horse of the Year Zenno Rob Roy (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) and from a third dam that also produced the dams of no fewer than three Group winners in Japan. The dam's yearling Nyquist colt brought $250,000 at last month's Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale and she returned to Gun Runner for a full-sibling to Sierra Leone in 2024.

7th-Aqueduct, $85,000, Msw, 11-4, 2yo, 1m, 1:36.94, ft, 1 1/4 lengths.
SIERRA LEONE, c, 2, Gun Runner
                1st Dam: Heavenly Love {GISW, $346,200},
                                by Malibu Moon)
                2nd Dam: Darling My Darling, by Deputy Minister
                3rd Dam: Roamin Rachel, by Mining
Sales History: $2,300,000 Ylg '22 FTSAUG. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $46,750. Click for the chart or VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
O-Mrs John Magnier, Michael B Tabor, Derrick Smith, Westerberg, Rocket Ship Racing, LLC and Peter M. Brant; B-Debby M. Oxley (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.


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