Saturday, August 26, 2023

Gunite defeated Elite Power by 1 ¾-lengths in Saturday’s $500,000 Forego S. (G1) at Saratoga, turning the tables on his foe who had bested him by just a head in the July 29 Alfred G. Vanderbilt S. (G1) at six furlongs.

Gunite is on a path to the Breeders’ Cup after defeating Elite Power, who had an eight-race winning streak coming into the Forego. Gunite, in post 2, took the fight to his four opponents right from the outset. He had a narrow lead over Pipeline through a quarter in :23.16 and a half in :46.20. Pipeline began to fade at the top of the stretch as Elite Power made his move up the rail. Gunite had plenty of energy in reserve however, and easily turned him away to finish the seven furlongs in 1:21.53.

“He broke alertly, put himself in a good spot,” said winning rider Tyler Gaffalione. “The difference between today and last time was, going the three quarters, you’ve got to use him a little more than you’d like to. Seven-eighths suits him a little bit better. He’s a big colt, just let him get into his stride and let him do his thing.”

Owner/breeder Ron Winchell relished the win after a close loss in the Vanderbilt.

“[It’s] very redeeming,” said Winchell. “Obviously, we came up a little short in the last one after having the lead. So this was definitely redeeming from the last race. I think he’s getting better over time. With the Gun Runners, like you see with [superstar filly sprinter and GI Ballerina H. heroine] Echo Zulu also, their last few races just seem to be getting better and better as they get older.”

Gunite, who won Saratoga’s Amsterdam S. (G2) at three and the track’s Hopeful S. (G1) as a 2-year-old, is now 9-6-2 in 19 starts and has earned $2,094,509. He is one of Gun Runner’s nine millionaires, and his excellent campaign this year has helped propel the Three Chimneys stallion to the top of the Third-Crop Sire list.