Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Bella Runner, a Three Chimneys Farm homebred by Gun Runner, dominated in the stretch of Tuesday’s $250,000 Zia Park Oaks, drawing off smartly to win the 1 1/16-mile contest by four lengths (WATCH RACE).

The 3-year-old filly is the 12th stakes winner this year for her sire, who leads the Second-Crop sire list in every major category. Gun Runner is also the leading sire of 3-year-old this year and is in the top five on the General Sire list.

Bella Runner, who was making her stakes debut, shipped to Zia Park from Kentucky for trainer Steve Asmussen. After a good break, she was less than a length from the lead rounding the first turn. She was nearly on even term with American Coalminer after half mile, then put her head in front at the six-furlong mark. Given her cue in upper stretch by Rafael Santana, Jr., the bay filly bounded away from the field with ease to win going away in 1:42.13, less than a second off the track record.

With the win, Bella Runner is now 2-2-0 in seven starts and has earned $232,585. She is out of Love and Pride, winner of both the Zenyatta S. (G1) and Personal Ensign H. (G1), who has also produced stakes winner Princesinha Julia. Bella Runner’s third dam, Grade 1 winner Cara Rafaela, is the dam of Bernardini.