Sunday, December 26, 2021

American Icon’s scintillating debut victory Dec. 26 at Gulfstream Park earned the 2-year-old colt a TDN “Rising Star” tag, the third this year for leading Freshman sire Gun Runner.

American Icon was much the best in Sunday’s seven-furlong contest. He broke on top from post eight and held a one-length advantage after a quarter-mile in :22.75. He maintained that lead around the turn. Just before entering the stretch, jockey Luis Saez gave a quick peek back at the field, then sent the bay colt on his way, opening up with every stride to win by 8 ½-lengths.

Wrapped up in the final sixteenth, American Icon finished the distance on a fast track in 1:23.26.

American Icon is owned by WinStar Farm and Siena Farm LLC, who acquired the colt for $400,000 at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Yearling sale.

The winner was bred by the partnership of Elm Tree Farm, Curt Leake, Time Will Tell LLC and Warren Harang. American Idol’s multiple stakes-placed dam Sky America is a full-sister to stakes winner and Santa Anita Oaks (G1) runner-up Third Dawn.

Gun Runner’s previous two Rising Stars are Echo Zulu, presumptive 2-year-old female champion  and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) Echo Zulu, and the undefeated filly Radio Days, who has won her two starts by a combine 10 lengths.

With just a few days remaining in the year, Gun Runner has locked up the title as champion First-Crop sire with a record $4.17 million in progeny earnings to date.