Champion Gun Runner left it all on the track on Saturday, and heads off to the breeding shed with no question left unanswered. The 5-year-old son of Candy Ride is one of a small number of top-caliber Thoroughbreds to improve with each start, and he ended his career with a personal best Beyer Speed Figure of 119 in Saturday's $16 million Pegasus World Cup. In fact, Gun Runner earned a Beyer of 110 or higher in each of his last seven starts in North America.
“He takes you places most people read about,” assistant trainer Scott Blasi told drf.com. “I've been really blessed to be around horses that are different. They breathe different air. They're capable of doing things on big days that others can't. He's super, an amazing horse. It's going to really hit me when I go back to New Orleans and he's not in that stall anymore.”
Steve Asmussen boarded a plane bound for New Orleans earlier in the morning, but Blasi was there to load Gun Runner into the van that would take him to the second half of his career. The 2017 Horse of the Year landed at Kentucky's Three Chimneys Farm on Sunday afternoon, where stallion manager Sandy Hatfield patiently awaited the champion. So far, Gun Runner has been booked to approximately 150 mares for the 2018 breeding season, which begins in two weeks' time.
“He'll be test-bred. She'll teach him. It's a whole new process,” said Doug Cauthen, Three Chimneys' vice chairman. “Sandy and Chris Baker have done it a lot.”
Read more at drf.com.
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