Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Three Chimneys champion sire and 2017 Horse of the Year was named as one of the finalists on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot by the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame Nominating Committee Tuesday morning, March 5th.

Having been retired for five years following his retirement, Gun Runner is in his first year of eligibility for election.

After winning both of his starts at two, Gun Runner’s career began to blossom the following year, when he won the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star S. (G2) before finishing a gallant third in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He would go on to beat older horses in that year’s Clark H. (G1).

His Horse of the Year campaign at four included Grade 1 wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Whitney S., Woodward S., and Stephen Foster H., as well as the Razorback H. (G3). He completed his career at five with a dominant win in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) before retiring to Three Chimneys.

Gun Runner’s first crop of runners made an immediate impact when they hit the track in 2021. He topped the First-Crop list that year with over $4.2 million in progeny earnings and six stakes winners, topped by the champion filly Echo Zulu. His Second-Crop numbers were even more impressive, with $14.6 million and a dozen black type winners, nine of them graded winners. 2023 saw more of the same, as he topped the Third-Crop list with $17.5 million, which was good enough to rank third on the General Sire list. This year he has already accounted for eight black type horses, including leading Kentucky Derby candidates Sierra Leone and Locked.

Per the National Museum rules, Hall of Fame voters may select as many candidates as they believe are worthy of induction to the Hall. All candidates that receive 50% plus one vote from the voting panel will be elected to the Hall of Fame. The results of the voting will be announced Apr. 23, and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Aug. 2 at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at 10:30 a.m.