On the heels of a 5 1/4-length victory in this past weekend’s $1.2 million Whitney Stakes (G1), Gun Runner’s connections are looking ahead to what is next, and that very well could be a start in the $750,000 Woodward Stakes (G1) at the Saratoga Race Course on September 2nd.
“He’s fabulous, happy with himself, came back great,” reported trainer Steve Asmussen on his Gun Runner’s condition following the Whitney Stakes.
“(I only noticed it) once he slowed down,” recalled Asmussen of his charge’s Whitney Stakes performance. “We watched the tape repeatedly, repeatedly, and if you’ve never seen anything before, just wait around. Can you believe that? I mean if we tried to throw one and stick in one’s tail as he was standing, still we’d go 0-for-1,000—let alone at a run, let alone Gun Runner, let alone in the Whitney—and it stayed. (With) how fast he was going, it was held out from him, when he slowed down to walk, then it came into him. We were obviously unaware of it until he came back to the winner’s circle, but not a nick on him. I mean, there’s still nails in it.”
The Whitney win was Gun Runner’s second straight grade one victory, and his fourth win in a row on North American Soil. Asmussen believes the Woodward Stakes will be the next race out for Gun Runner. “It seems very probable with him running over the racetrack here (and) not having to travel again,” said Asmussen. “It would be ideal.”