Tipsheet: The Gun Runner Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

December 23rd, 2021

A total of seven juveniles will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Fair Grounds dirt in Saturday’s $100,000 Gun Runner S. The 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series race will reward the top four finishers with qualifying points on a 10-4-2-1 basis.

Gun Runner Stakes Picks

  • #1 Epicenter
  • #3 Rocket Dawg
  • #5 Kevin’s Folly
  • #6 Tejano Twist

Gun Runner Stakes Wagers

  • $20 win and place #1 Epicenter
  • $10 exacta box 1-3
  • $1 superfecta key 1, 3 with 1, 3 with 5, 6 with all

Gun Runner Stakes Contenders

#1 EPICENTER rolled home to a convincing maiden victory second time out for Steve Asmussen. The $260,000 purchase is the pace of the race and received a fine rail draw to flaunt his early foot. The son of Not This Time will have Brian Hernandez, Jr. in the stirrups.

#2 WAITA MINUTE HAYES has crossed the wire first in each of his three lifetime efforts on the dirt in advance of his toughest assignment to date. The son of Tiznow has won from on the lead and off the pace, and he can make the frame with improvement on Sunday.

#3 ROCKET DAWG registered an impressive debut tally beneath the Twin Spires for conditioner Brad Cox. The $375,000 son of Classic Empire has posted two solid morning drills on this course as of late, and the bay rates a big chance if he progresses in his second outing. Florent Geroux has the call.

#4 SURFER DUDE broke through in his fifth lifetime engagement last time out for Dallas Stewart. The Curlin colt has early speed, as well as a fine foundation under him, and the chestnut will be in range throughout in his stakes bow. Reylu Gutierrez will be in the stirrups.

#5 KEVIN’S FOLLY finished a late third in an allowance test at Churchill Downs most recently and looms as a logical exotics contender for trainer Tom Amoss. The son of Distorted Humor is Grade-1 placed, and he figures to make a late run and grab a share in this spot with even slight improvement beneath James Graham.

#6 TEJANO TWIST is the most experienced youngster in the cast with eight lifetime tries on his ledger. The talented stakes winner from the Bret Calhoun shedrow stretches out for the initial time, and if the son of Practical Joke can handle the added ground, he will surely make his presence felt late.

#7 RICH STRIKE came home third in a Keeneland allowance tilt in his first off the claim for trainer Eric Reed. The son of Keen Ice was a 17-length maiden graduate against softer company two back, but he will need to prove to be capable with this type before being backed from this corner. The chestnut breaks from the widest post under Sonny Leon.

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Epicenter wins at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography/Churchill Downs)