Sunday, June 12, 2022

Gun Runner completed a sire stakes double Sunday at Churchill Downs when Cyberknife edged out Howling Time in the $225,000 Matt Winn S. (G3).

Earlier on the card, Wicked Halo took the $160,000 Leslie’s Lady S. to become the seventh stakes winner of the year for Gun Runner, who leads the Second-Crop Sire list with $5.4 million in progeny earnings.

Cyberknife, winner of Arkansas Derby (G1) in April, found himself in a tough battle with Howling Time from the outset of the 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn. Howling Time led by a length through the first half of the race, with Cyberknife to his outside under stout restraint from Florent Geroux. Cyberknife got closer around the turn and was on even terms coming into the stretch.

Cyberknife got the lead in upper stretch, with Howling Time battling back for a narrow advantage inside the final furlong. Cyberknife was resolute and got his nose down on the wire first, stopping the timer in 1:41.98, good for a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 94.

“(Cyberknife) is still a developing 3-year-old,” trainer Brad Cox said. “I think he’s making good progress and ran hard today. We got on the right side of a tight photo. (Cyberknife) is a horse that I think we are looking to take the next step. He’s a sound, happy horse and he’s growing up. We’re excited about him as a prospect throughout the rest of the year.”

Bred by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Cyberknife is owned by Gold Square LLC. The victory, his fourth in eight starts, put him on the cusp of millionaire status, with $996,520 in earnings.