Leading First-Crop sire Gun Runner got his ninth winner Sunday afternoon at Ellis Park when Elusive Target coasted by 3 3/4-lengths in a seven furlong maiden special weight contest for 2-year-olds.
The Besilu Stables homebred led most of the trip, taking command just a few strides after the break. He got the half-mile in a sensible :46.96 before giving up the lead and looked to be in trouble entering the stretch. In a game effort, he then re-asserted himself to re-take the lead and drew off in the final furlong to win convincingly.
The winner is out of Ultimate Reward, a daughter of Unbridled’s Song, whose half-brother Multiple Choice was a three-time graded stakes winner of nearly $700,000.
Gun Runner’s nine winners have earned more than $500,000, almost $150,000 above any other freshman sire. His current win rate of 50% is also the highest for the top five First-Crop sires.