'It's pretty astonishing' - sensational Gun Runner sets freshman sire record
The son of Candy Ride is responsible for two top-level winners
Three Chimneys' Gun Runner, the 2017 Horse of the Year and the leading sire of two-year-olds worldwide as well as the leading freshman sire in 2021, has established an all-time progeny earnings record for a first-crop sire, eclipsing super sire Uncle Mo's first-crop earnings record established in 2015.
To put the significance of this accomplishment into perspective, Uncle Mo's first crop earnings surpassed the previous record established by the legendary Tapit back in 2008.
The previous first-crop progeny earnings record of $3,670,354 as reported by BloodHorse and $3,717,490 as reported by Thoroughbred Daily News, was surpassed on Monday when the Tom Amoss-trained Shotgun Hottie won the first race at Churchill Downs, boosting Gun Runner's earnings to over $3.8 million.
Gun Runner's milestone earnings record mirrors that of Uncle Mo's, having sired two Grade 1 winners including the undefeated Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine Echo Zulu. Their records differ, however, in that Gun Runner has sired one more Graded winner than Uncle Mo, with fewer starters.
"Gun Runner's record start at stud is a crowning achievement for the farm and its philosophy," said Three Chimneys' owner Gonçalo Torrealba. "To surpass a record established by Uncle Mo, and Tapit previous to that, clearly compares Gun Runner favourably at this point in time with two of the most influential sires at stud today."
He continued: "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' 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'm 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. Thank you, Steve."
Echo Zulu is Gun Runner's top earner, having collected $1,480,000 to date from her four starts, which also include the Frizette and Spinaway stakes.
Gun Runner's other Graded winners are Gunite, who took the Hopeful; Wicked Halo, winner of the Adirondack; and Pappacap; the Best Pal winner who went on to finish second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He has also sired Kip Deville Stakes captor Concept and Zia Park Princess Stakes winner Optionality.
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