Gun Runner Runs Rivals Out Of Their Shoes In Whitney Win
By Margaret Ransom
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner didn’t have a lot to prove heading into Saturday’s $1.176 million Whitney Stakes (GI) at Saratoga. The son of Candy Ride is easily the best handicap horse in the East having won three of his last four starts and finishing second to Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup (GI), but, regardless, six others took their best shot at the 4-year-old only to come up short, as the Steve Asmussen trainee romped to a 5 ¼-length score in the nine-furlong feature at the upstate New York racetrack.
Under jockey Florent Geroux, Gun Runner sped straight to the lead after breaking from the six-hole and, soon after, settled off Cautious Giant, who was entered as a rabbit to soften up the favorite on the lead. After Cautious Giant logged the opening-quarter mile of :23.89 he was out of gas and Gun Runner was in command, cruising through the rest of the 1 1/8-mile test in splits of :48.31, 1:11.37 and 1:35.35 before widening his lead inside the final furlong, stopping the clock in 1:47.71 over a main track labeled fast.
Keen Ice rallied from last early to earn second-place honors, crossing the wire another 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Breaking Lucky. War Story, Discreet Lover, Tu Brutus and Cautious Giant completed the order of finish.
As the heavy 3-5 favorite, Gun Runner was… (more)