Gun Runner delivers big performance in $400,000 Risen Star S. (G2)
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Three Chimneys Farm’s and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Gun Runner launched himself to the top of the Kentucky Derby (G1) hopefuls list with a rousing victory in Saturday’s $400,000 Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds Race Course.

Gun Runner was in some traffic around the first turn, but Florent Geroux managed secure a good spot on the rail for the backstretch run, about four lengths off the lead. Geroux urged his mount closer around the final turn and got on even terms with pacesetter Candy My Boy at the top of the lane.

After passing his foe on the outside, Geroux angled Gun Runner back to the fence in the final furlong, holding off the late charge of Forevamo to win by a half-length in 1:43.94 for the 1 1/16-miles.

“He's a very nice horse,” Geroux said. “I've really liked him since the first time I was on his back a few weeks ago working in the morning. He's super-athletic. I was very confident. I wanted to make sure I saved some ground. It looked like the track was playing a little bit more inside-favoring. I kept him down there until I asked him to go and he ran a great race.”

“He's a very nice horse,” added trainer Steve Asmussen. “We're very lucky to have him. I thought Florent gave him a beautiful trip with how the track was playing. He's shown talent the whole time and it's definitely good to see him in the winner's circle in a race like this.”

With the win, Gun Runner earned 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Challenge, and sits atop the standings with 51 total. The son of Candy Ride (ARG) out of the Grade 2 winner Quiet Giant has now won three of his four starts and earned $306,920.

Ron Winchell was in attendance Saturday and said that the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G1, March 26) would be Gun Runner’s next race.
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