Second Chances: More Ammo for Leading Young Sire Gun Runner

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Gun Runner | EquiSport Photos

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In this continuing series, TDN's Senior Editor Steve Sherack catches up with the connections of promising maidens to keep on your radar.

Disarm (c, 2, Gun Runner–Easy Tap, by Tapit) turned it on nicely in the stretch to report home an encouraging third on debut at Churchill Downs June 19.

The chestnut's worktab, dating back to late March, was led by a four-furlong bullet in :46 4/5 (1/28) at Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen's Louisville base June 6.

Outfooted early and under a ride in eighth through an opening quarter in :22.82, the 5-2 second-choice began to gain some momentum approaching quarter pole and was guided out five wide at the top of the stretch.

Receiving a steady dose of left-handers from Tyler Gaffalione down the lane, Disarm began to roll down the center despite attempting to get in. Nearly running on heels late, he was wrapped up approaching the shadow of the wire to finish two lengths adrift favored firster and $325,000 OBS April graduate Mo Strike (Uncle Mo) in the 5 1/2-furlong affair.

Disarm, a homebred for Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC, earned a 66 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

“Going into the race, it was kinda like one of those, 'We like him at 5 1/2 [furlongs], but we'd love him at a mile' kind of things,” said David Fiske, longtime advisor to the Winchell family.

“He didn't get the typical 'Laredo leap' leaving the gate. The way Steve [Asmussen]'s father schools those 2-year-olds down there, they tend to break pretty alertly and he was a little flat-footed that day. He was still running at the end and that probably wasn't his optimum distance.”

The Gun Runner over Tapit cross–two of the best to ever carry the maroon-and-white Winchell silks–is already responsible for last term's GII Adirondack S. heroine Wicked Halo, promising unbeaten Monomoy Girl S. winner Society and Texas Turf Mile S. winner Red Run.

Last year's record-setting freshman sire Gun Runner is represented by five top-level winners, including champion Echo Zulu and GI Preakness S. winner Early Voting.

Disarm's dam Easy Tap–a $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling purchase–won one of five starts for the Winchells and Asmussen. The 12-year-old has produced Tap Daddy (Scat Daddy), a winner of Pimlico's James W. Murphy S. and runner-up in the GIII Dixiana Bourbon S. for these same connections. He was also a champion stayer in Venezuela after being sold privately. Easy Tap is also responsible for the multiple stakes-placed Total Tap (Candy Ride {Arg}) and a Gun Runner colt of this year.

As for Disarm, Fiske concluded, “He's a great-looking horse. Steve [Asmussen] was taking him out during Derby week and showing him off to press guys. He thought this was the best-looking horse he had in the barn, so he paraded him around. He likes him quite a bit. I think he's got plenty of talent.”

The 'Second Chances' honor roll is headed by two-time Breeders' Cup winner Golden Pal (Uncle Mo), GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner and Lane's End stallion Honor A. P. (Honor Code) and MGISW and 'TDN Rising Star' Paradise Woods (Union Rags).

This term's GI Carter H. winner Speaker's Corner (Street Sense), GIII Westchester S. winner Cody's Wish (Curlin), GI Preakness S. third-place finisher Creative Minister (Creative Cause), streaking Cinema S. winner War At Sea (War Front) and next out 'TDN Rising Star' Artorius (Arrogate) have also been featured in the series.

Other standouts include: GSW Moonlight d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro), GSW & MGISP Spielberg (Union Rags), GSW Backyard Heaven (Tizway), MSW and 'TDN Rising Star' Gidu (Ire) (Frankel {GB}); and GISP A Mo Reay (Uncle Mo).

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