Gun Runner Comes Out of Risen Star as Kentucky Derby Points Leader
Gun Runner Comes Out of Risen Star as Kentucky Derby Points Leader: The Risen Star boasts so much history in the race itself. Horses coming into the Risen Star have a lot to answer as three-year-olds and usually give glimpses into their talent and potential as they move through their careers. Previous winners of the Risen Star have gone on to win other graded stakes races and even the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Mucho Macho Man won the Risen Star in 2011 and then went on win the Classic in 2013 after a second-place finish in 2012.
This year, the Risen Star was won by a son of Candy Ride who has shown a lot of potential in his previous races. Gun Runner made his three-year-old debut in the Risen Star, defeating horses such as Mo Tom and Airoforce, who are viewed as top prospects for the 2016 Kentucky Derby. Gun Runner went off at odds of 5-1 and had to fight hard to hold off a charging Forevamo and Mo Tom.
Gun Runner runs in the Steve Winchell name, who owns horses like Untapable and ran Tapiture in the 2014 Kentucky Derby. Gun Runner is trained by Steve Asmussen, who has horses in his barn like Untapable and Nickname.
Besilu Stables, who owns the colt’s dam, Quiet Giant, bred the colt. Quiet Giant is a half-sister to Horse of the Year and ill-fated Saint Liam. The female family of Gun Runner has been highly influential. Quiet Giant only has one horse on the track, which is Gun Runner, but she also has a newly turned two-year-old filly by Malibu Moon. As a racehorse, Quiet Giant won three straight listed stakes in New York at Aqueduct and then went on to win two straight stakes at Monmouth, ending her career in the Grade II Molly Pitcher Stakes. She was put into the 2011 Keeneland sale and was retired following that.
Quiet Giant’s sire Giant’s Causeway has been a top stallion, broodmare stallion, and everything in between since he was born. He was even a top racehorse, never finishing worse than second in any of his thirteen starts. He ran primarily on turf, but in his first try on dirt, he ran second to Tiznow in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic. He then retired to Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky, where he currently stands for a fee of $85,000. Giant’s Causeway, since entering stud in 2001, has sired millionaires Take Charge Brandi, Carpe Diem, Giant Oak, and Shamardal. Giant’s Causeway is represented worldwide with his sons and daughters. He even has a colt potentially headed to Louisville named Destin.
Gun Runner is sired by Candy Ride, a top stallion standing at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. Candy Ride, an Argentinian-bred, won all three of his starts at age three in Argentina before coming to the United States for his four-year-old season. In his four-year-old season, Candy Ride only made three starts, winning them all. He won the American Handicap at Hollywood Park going 1-1/8 miles on the turf before making his final start on dirt. Candy Ride took home the 1¼-mile Pacific Class over top horse Medaglia d’Oro. Candy Ride retired undefeated in six starts. He entered stud in 2005 for a fee of $10,000. He now stands for a fee of $60,000. His top offspring include Shared Belief, Clubhouse Ride, Sidney’s Candy, and Twirling Candy.
Gun Runner jumped to the top of the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with his 50-point score in the Risen Star (GII). Gun Runner is likely to start next in the Louisiana Derby on March 26, held at the Fair Grounds. Until then, he will get fit and ready to run another top race before heading to Louisville, Kentucky, for the historic Kentucky Derby.