Gun Runner, seen here winning the 2017 Grade 1 Woodward Stakes, set a new record for progeny earnings by a freshman sire. NYRA/Chelsea Durand photo.

Gun Runner Sets New Mark for Freshman Progeny Earnings

TVG Staff Report

Three Chimneys’ stallion Gun Runner, the 2017 Horse the Year, added another milestone to his resume this weekend when he established a new record for progeny earnings for a first-crop sire.

The son of Candy Ride (ARG) moved past the $3.8 million mark to break the previous record of $3,717,490 which was established by champion and Coolmore stallion Uncle Mo in 2015. Prior to Uncle Mo, the first-crop progeny earnings record had been held by Gainesway’s Tapit, who set the mark in 2008.

Gun Runner broke the record on Nov. 27 when he was represented by nine runners and added to the spoils on Nov. 28 when the Tom Amoss-trained Shotgun Hottie won a $92,000 maiden special weight at Churchill Downs Sunday, becoming the stallion’s 22nd winner.

“Gun Runner’s record start at stud is a crowning achievement for the farm and its philosophy,” said Three Chimneys’ owner Goncalo Torrealba said in a release. “To surpass a record established by Uncle Mo and Tarevious to that, clearly compares Gun Runner favorably at this point in time with two of the most influential sires at stud today. He not only established a new progeny earnings record, but he is also the leading sire in America by percent stakes winner to runners among all sires, pretty astonishing. 

“Three Chimneys’ whole team is grateful to the breeders who continue to support him with great mares, and a special thanks to partner Ron Winchell. He has been fantastic. I am grateful for his continued commitment to breed his best mares and race their progeny. Trainer Steve Asmussen has created his legacy through Horse of the Year Gun Runner and his progeny.”

Gun Runner’s historic season has been backstopped by the success of offspring like Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Echo Zulu, who is a virtual lock to take home the Eclipse Award for divisional honors and become her sire’s first champion. In addition to Echo Zulu’s top-level exploits, Gun Runner has also produced Hopeful Stakes (G1) winner Gunite and graded stakes winners Wicked Halo and Pappacap, the latter of whom was the runner-up in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

Echo Zulu, Gunite and Wicked Halo are all trained by Asmussen, who conditioned Gun Runner, and are owned or co-owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, which, along with Three Chimneys, campaigned the stallion to six Grade 1 victories.

“He’s doing what we hoped he would do (at stud) but I think everybody is a little bit surprised at how quick a lot of them have been so far – in particular Echo Zulu,” David Fiske, manager of Winchell Thoroughbreds, told TVG Insider News in September. “The early speed is a little surprising. But they’re durable and they don’t stop. Even the ones that have been beaten, they don’t just spit it and quit. They’ll keep trying.”

Gun Runner will stand the 2022 breeding season at $125,000.

Echo Zulu, Gunite and Wicked Halo are all trained by Asmussen, who conditioned Gun Runner, and are owned or co-owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, which, along with Three Chimneys, campaigned the stallion to six Grade 1 victories.

Gun Runner will stand the 2022 breeding season at $125,000.