Gun Runner Dominant in Louisiana Derby

 

Gun Runner Dominant in Louisiana Derby
Photo: Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography

Gun Runner leaves the rest behind in the Louisiana Derby.

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner, who captured the grade II Risen Star Stakes in his last start, was a commanding winner of the $1 million TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 26 at Fair Grounds Race Course & SlotsWatch Video

Ridden by Florent Geroux, Gun Runner, who paid $9.80 to win as the third choice in a field of 10, is headed to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

“He’s a very quality horse,” trainer Steve Asmussen said. “We’re very excited about the race he ran today and looking forward to his next race.”

Candy My Boy, fourth in the Feb. 20 Risen Star, took the early lead and maintained control through fractions of :23.54 for the opening quarter-mile, :48.24 for a half-mile, and 1:12.94 for six furlongs withDazzling Gem and Gun Runner in close pursuit. The latter took over past one mile in 1:38.12 and wasn’t threatened to the finish.

The final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.06 on a fast track. Tom’s Ready, seventh in the Risen Star, rallied for second, while Dazzling Gem held for third. Favored Mo Tom, a troubled third in the Risen Star, had an opening along the rail but was stopped again and finished fourth after a rally from far back.

A 3-year-old colt by Candy Ride  , out of the Giant’s Causeway  mare Quiet Giant, Gun Runner was bred in Kentucky by Besilu Stables. He has now won four of five starts; his lone defeat came last November in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), in which he finished fourth behind AiroforceMor Spirit, and Mo Tom.

The Louisiana Derby winner earned 100 points in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings.

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