The long-range plan of Gun Runner’s co-owner Benjamin Leon is paying off.
In the name of his Besilu racing and breeding operation, Leon paid $3 million for Gun Runner’s dam, Quiet Giant, at Keeneland’s November sale two months after she became a graded stakes winner. Instead of sending her back to the track, Leon added her to his broodmare band and bred her to Candy Ride (ARG) the following spring. In 2013, she produced Gun Runner, who has banked more than $1.3 million in his career thus far. As one of the best of his generation, Gun Runner also has future earnings potential as a breeding stallion.
In his first nine starts, Gunner Run has won five times while always earning a share of lucrative purses. After winning his initial two starts and checking in fourth in his stakes debut at two, Gun Runner blossomed into a Kentucky Derby favorite at 3. He arrived at Churchill Downs after winning the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. As third choice in the Run for the Roses, Gun Runner checked in third.
Bypassing the next two jewels of the Triple Crown, Gun Runner was back in the winner’s circle after the Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs June 18. His connections put him back in top class races, finished fifth in the Haskell Invitational (G1) and third in the Travers Stakes (G1).
His Hall of Fame trainer, Steve Asmussen, won the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic with Curlin.