Track Phantom Banks Derby Points In Gun Runner S.

Track Phantom | Hodges Photography/Amanda Hodges Weir

Track Phantom (Quality Road) had 10 points deposited into his Road to the Kentucky Derby account by winning Saturday's featured Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

After a pair of good efforts to try and break his maiden in October at Churchill Downs, the bay got his picture taken with a front-running score by 4 3/4 lengths under the Twin Spires Nov. 25.

As a 9-2 shot here, the colt came out firing from his outside post and dueled into the first turn with GISP Next Level (Vino Rosso). With the battle for the lead continuing up the backstretch, Track Phantom finally got the best of his rival before the far turn, clearly had more to give at the top of the lane and outlasted a late-effort by Snead (Nyquist), as 'TDN Rising Star' Nash (Medaglia d'Oro) finished third.

“It's impressive that both of his [Track Phantom] two turn races have been victories, and it was a good field today,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “I actually thought they went too fast in the middle, you know, 46 4/5 here in a two-turn race, you don't see horses see it out very often. He's obviously a very good horse who has some room to physically develop and we have him right where want to be at this stage of his career.”

Out of an extended female family which includes MGSW Prayer for Relief (Jump Start), the winner is his dam's second offspring to make the races after O'Conner Sunset (Curlin). An $825,000 purchase by Breeze Easy at the '18 Fasig-Tipton Fall Mixed Sale, Miss Sunset is also responsible for yearling colt Crystal Pearl (Curlin), who went for $1.1 million during Keeneland September to Lauren Carlisle. Track Phantom's dam also foaled a colt by Quality Road Mar. 3 and was bred to Flightline for next year.

GUN RUNNER S., $98,000, Fair Grounds, 12-23, 2yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.42, ft.
1–TRACK PHANTOM, 122, c, 2, by Quality Road
                1st Dam: Miss Sunset (GSW & GISP, $891,895), by Into Mischief
                2nd Dam: Tuscan Sunset, by Trippi
                3rd Dam: Icelandic Dancer, by Eskimo
($500,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-L and N Racing LLC, Clark O. Brewster, Jerry Caroom and Breeze Easy, LLC; B-Breeze Easy, LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen; J-Cristian Torres. $60,000. Lifetime Record: 4-2-1-1, $165,000.
2–Snead, 122, c, 2, Nyquist–Raffle Ticket, by A.P. Indy. ($125,000 Wlg '21 KEENOV; $210,000 Ylg '22 FTSAUG; $325,000 2yo '23 EASMAY). 1ST BLACK TYPE. O-Imagine Racing and Margaret Fauber; B-Chris Baccari & Taylor Luneack (KY); T-Brendan P. Walsh. $20,000.
3–Nash, 122, c, 2, Medaglia d'Oro–Sara Louise, by Malibu Moon. 1ST BLACK TYPE. 'TDN Rising Star'. O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. $10,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 1 3/4, 5. Odds: 4.90, 9.10, 0.50.
Also Ran: Footprint, Risk It, Neat, Next Level. Scratched: Catching Freedom.
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