Gun Runner works 5 furlong bullet at Churchill Downs
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Gun Runner works 5 furlong bullet at Churchill Downs
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm's Kentucky Derby (G1) hopeful Gun Runner continued his preparations for the May 7 Run for the Roses with a “bullet” five furlongs in one minute flat on Monday, April 18.

Gun Runner, who had Derby rider Florent Geroux aboard, worked in company with stablemate Gold Hawk. The final time was the fastest of 16 horses at the distance.

“I thought he breezed very well this morning and has settled into Churchill very nicely,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “I thought that he handled the racetrack very well and I’m obviously very excited about our opportunities. He’s a tremendous individual as far as conformation and pedigree-wise and he’s got a great attitude. He’s very energetic as far as training goes; he’s always been very effortless over the racetrack..” 

"He's a very good work horse in the morning," Geroux added afterward. "Today was just what Mr. Asmussen asked us to do—a set up for next week. He did it very easily, like a two-minute lick. He galloped out in 1:13 just pointing his ears. Very nice, just what Steve wanted: Relax early on and pick it up and at the end save lots of energy.
"The horse has been training very well, so we're excited. It's a dream just to be able to compete in the race. To participate with a real chance is a bigger dream."

The Winchell-Three Chimneys partnership began early in 2015, Three Chimneys' CEO Chris Baker recently told Jennie Rees of the Blood-Horse.

"He was at a 2-year-old sale, but he did not go through the sale, and that's where the partnership with Ron Winchell was struck," Baker said of staying on as a part-owner. "That was our intention all along.
"You look at his pedigree; it's the right blend of speed and stamina: Candy Ride on Giant's Causeway,” Baker continued. “We've got a stallion barn that we want to fill. He was the kind that had enough of the attributes on paper, that if he did what we thought he could do, he'd be in our stallion barn. And he hasn't proven us wrong yet." 

Gun Runner has won four of five starts, most recently the Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 26, a race he won by a commanding 4 1/2-lengths. He has earned $906,920 and sits atop the Road to the Kentucky Derby with 151 qualifying points.
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