The Rise of Gun Runner

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

June 14th, 2017

The Steve Asmussen-trained GUN RUNNER will go off as a big favorite in Saturday’s Stephen Foster (G1) and with a triumph in the storied race, the four-year-old can continue to vault up the ladder as the best handicap horse not named Arrogate.

It took me a while to get on the bandwagon of the son of Candy Ride, but I have come to greatly appreciate the consistent class Gun Runner shows. Kentucky-bred has quite a resume to this point, banking in excess of $4.3 million from just 14 races, and I think the best is still yet to come, as does his conditioner.

"He just seems to get a little better all the time," Steve Asmussen noted.

Chestnut colt recorded a fine sophomore campaign, winning four graded events and placing in a trio of Grade 1s including the Kentucky Derby. Gun Runner capped his 2016 season with an easy score in the Clark (G1) over the Churchill strip and has come back stronger this season, toying with overmatched rivals in the Razorback (G3) at Oaklawn before turning in his best race to date, in my opinion, a huge second in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1) to Arrogate.

Speedy sort has been freshened off the impressive overseas performance and appears set for a big second half of this year. And if the spectacular Arrogate ever stubs his toe even a little, Gun Runner can benefit the most. I fully expect Gun Runner to continue his ascension over a pretty decent group on Saturday and anything less than a decisive Foster tally will be something of a letdown.

Sometimes it takes a while to fall in love but better late than never! 

Read More on racing this weekend:

Shapiro looking to stay hot in Late Pick 4 at Santa Anita

Shapiro: Identifying Vulnerable Favorites Part 2