Gunite, one of Gun Runner’s five Grade 1 winners to date, returned to the scene of his greatest victory to win the $200,000 Amsterdam S. (G2) Sunday at Saratoga, defeating Accretive by a neck after a thrilling stretch duel.
Gunite, who won Saratoga’s Hopeful S. (G1) last term, won the Maxfield S. at Churchill Downs on July 3 as a tune-up for the Amsterdam. He was prominent right from the break, dueling with Pinehurst through a lively first quarter in :21.78. Gunite eased past Pinehurst as they rounded the turn, opening up a one-length lead with a quarter-mile to run. Accretive appeared on the scene soon after, and he and Gunite battled to the wire, with Gunite getting home first in 1:15.75 for the 6 ½-furlongs on a fast track.
Gunite earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure for he effort, his first triple-digit number of his career.
“It’s just nice to come back to where he won his Grade One last year and have another win in a Grade Two,” said owner Ron Winchell. “He was training great. He was training like he wanted to go on from his 2-year-old year and do exactly what he did.”.
Homebred Gunite is the first foal out of stakes winner Simple Surprise, who has an unraced 2-year-old full sister to Gunite named Surprise Attack, who sold for $400,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale. Simple Surprise was bred back to Gun Runner for 2023.