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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

His Fastest Five Furlong Move This Year....


Bullet for Gun Runner

By Dick Downey
Photo by Churchill Downs

Updated 11:49 a.m. ET

Gun Runner breezed a bullet five furlongs today at Churchill Downs before the renovation break.

Gun Runner was timed by Churchill Downs clockers in 1.00:00 (1/16). He went in company with stablemate Gold Hawk, starting a length back of him and finishing two lengths in front. Gun Runner's internal fractions were 12.80, 24.40, 36.40 and 48.00. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.20.

“I’m going to need more of a blow with him next week,” Asmussen said. “I think today had a lot to do with what I want to go with next week’s work, and what adjustments I need to make and talking to Florent before we’ve worked him in the past. He wasn’t ready for the Kentucky Jockey Club last year just because of how easy he does minutes, and I think how we structure the work will matter; and I thought he cooled out easily today, and I think we’re going to have to stretch him a bit between now and the Derby.”

Although Gun Runner has other bullets on his resume, today's move was the fastest he has recorded at the distance this year. He spent the winter at Fair Grounds, where he won both the Risen Star Stakes and Louisiana Derby in his only two starts of the year. He was a steady presence on the worktab at the New Orleans track.

Jan. 11, 50.40 B 37/67 at FG
Jan. 18, 1:01.20 B 10/35 at FG
Jan. 25, 1:00.20 B 3/46 at FG
Feb. 1, 1:12.60 B 1/5 at FG
Feb. 8, 1:12.20 B 1/2 at FG
Feb. 15, 50.50 B 28/36 at FG
Feb. 20, Won Risen Star
Feb. 29, 1:02.80 B 15/15 at FG
March 7, 1:01.20 B 5/29 at FG
March 14, 1:00.60 B 1/34 at FG
March 21, 50.80 B 41/56 at FG
March 26, Won Louisiana Derby
April 4, 50.60 B 16/19 at CD
April 11, 1.01:00 B 5/12 at CD
April 18, 1.00:00 B 1/16 at CD

Gun Runner tops the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 151 points. From five starts, he has four wins. His only loss came on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs when he finished fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes in November.

“I was probably a little over confident going into the race,” Asmussen said. “He needed a little more off of just two races against some more seasoned horses. I think he’s matured nicely and put in two great runs this year. He’s gotten more out of his training recently."

Florent Geroux was aboard Gun Runner in his Fair Grounds stakes wins after Ricardo Santana, Jr. was up for his first three starts. Santana rode Creator to victory in Saturday's Arkansas Derby. Asmussen trains both horses and is coming into the Kentucky Derby with a strong hand while looking for his first win of the race.

“I don’t think we have to worry about if he does handle the course. The scenario is that there are 20 horses and I don’t think they’ll all love the surface and I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that with him.”

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