If it seems like I'm biased
toward all things Gun Runner, it's mostly true. I loved him when he was racing,
fell in deeper love when I laid eyes on him in the flesh after he retired to Three
Chimneys Farm, and my love was vindicated when he became the Leading Freshman
Sire at the end of 2021. Now he's sired a first-crop classic winner in Early Voting,
who ran off with the Preakness Stakes-G1 yesterday at Pimlico. Does it get better?
Probably, but let's look at what he's done so far.
Gun Runner has 12 stakes
winners from his first crop, now three-year-olds. Seven of these are Graded stakes
winners, and five of these are Grade 1 winners, including the Champion Two-Year-Old
Filly Echo Zulu.
Five of his stakes winners are from A.P. Indy-line mares,
including Taiba-G1 (dam by Flatter), Wicked Halo-G2 (dam by Tapit), Red Run (dam
by Tapit), Shotgun Hottie (dam by Malibu Moon) and Optionality (dam by Pulpit).
Three of his stakes winners are from Storm Cat-line mares: Echo Zulu-G1 (dam
by Menifee), Gunite-G1 (dam by Cowboy Cal) and Pappacap-G2 (dam by Scat Daddy).
Two are from Mr. Prospector-line mares: Cyberknife-G1 (dam by Flower Alley)
and Booze Runner (dam by Empire Maker).
His remaining stakes winners are Early
Voting-G1 (dam by Tiznow) and Concept (dam by Cindago, by Indian Charlie).
Runner is by Candy Ride out of Quiet Giant by Giant's Causeway, second dam by
Quiet Dance by Quiet American. He is 4x4 to Fappiano (through Cryptoclearance
and Quiet American). He's also linebred 4x5 to Blushing Groom (through Candy Stripes
and Rahy) and 5x4 to Lyphard (through Bubble Company and Misty Dancer). He has
four stakes winners who are inbred (by my definition, with an ancestor duplicated
within four generations), and they all include Storm Cat in this pattern. Echo
Zulu is 4x4 Storm Cat; Early Voting is 4x3 Storm Cat; Gunite and Concept are both
3x3 to Storm Cat's son Giant's Causeway. Pappacap and Wicked Halo are both 4x5
Storm Cat, so not inbred but linebred.
I've been wary of doubling up on
Storm Cat because, despite his genetic brilliance and prepotency, there are negatives
that need to be considered in those inbred matings. Fortunately, Gun Runner has
none of those negatives. He's not over-topped on weak underpinnings with the bad
knees that showed up in a lot of Storm Cats, so there's no doubling up to the
scarey stuff. This may be because his source of Storm Cat is through The Iron
Horse, Giant's Causeway.
It's interesting that none of Gun Runner's stakes
winners have close inbreeding to any other strain besides Storm Cat. Several of
them have further linbreeding 4x5 or 5x5 to targets like Blushing Groom (Cyberknife,
Gunite, Concept), Lyphard (Early Voting, Cyberknife) and Fappiano (Red Run, Shotgun
Hottie, Booze Runner).
Some of them are out of mares who are inbred to
Mr. Prospector (Cyberknife, Taiba, Gunite, Shotgun Hottie) or Northern Dancer
(Booze Runner) or Secretariat (Shotgun Hottie) or Alydar (Concept).
nothing is written in stone as far as pedigree theories, Gun Runner and his best
offspring (so far) seem to suggest that a couple of theories may have some foundation
here. One is to inbreed with outcrosses and outcross with inbreds. Gun Runner
has 4x4 crosses of Fappiano, but he has not yet sired any stakes winners with
further inbreeding to his 4x4 crosses of Fappiano. He has had success with more
distant linebreeding to Fappiano's sire Mr. Prospector. The genes don't know where
they are in these man-made pedigree charts, but continued inbreeding does not
appear to be a great strategy, certainly not in this case based on the current
evidence. [I have seen it working it with a few other stallions, however. Take
a look at Scat Daddy's sire record, for instance, who was inbred to Mr. Prospector.]
second theory possibly working here is the old Olin Gentry/E.R. Bradley idea of
"bringing back to the sire the best blood of his dam." While Gun Runner
is from an exceptional female family, his dam's sire is Giant's Causeway, a son
of Storm Cat. Three of his five Grade 1 winners and four of his 12 stakes winners
are inbred to Storm Cat or his son Giant's Causeway. You can decide if that's
significant. I think it is.
Here's an interesting photo comparison. The
top photo is Gun Runner. The bottom photo is his sixth dam, the great racemare
Gallorette. I see a similarity. You may not. (I claim no rights to these photos.)
Runner (photo from Blood-Horse
Stallion Register website)
(photo by Bert Clark Thayer)
Copyright by Anne Peters
of Gun Runner (2013 by Candy Ride (ARG) - Quiet Giant by Giant's Causeway.
|City Girl |
Runner's stakes winners to date:
dam's sire||2nd dam's sire||inbreeding|
Zulu, 2019 f.||C2F||Menifee||Eastern Echo||4x4 Storm
|Early Voting, 2019 c.||G1||Tiznow||Storm
Cat||4x3 Storm Cat |
|Cyberknife, 2019 c.||G1||Flower
Alley||Awesome Again || |
|Taiba, 2019 c.||G1||Flatter||Left
Banker || |
|Gunite, 2019 c.||G1||Cowboy Cal||Pulpit||3x3
|Pappacap, 2019 c.||G2||Scat Daddy||Red
Ransom || |
|Wicked Halo, 2019 c.||G2||Tapit||Harlan's
Holiday || |
|Red Run, 2019 c.||SW||Tapit||Prized|| |
Hottie, 2019 f.||SW||Malibu Moon||Unbridled|| |
2019 f.||SW||Pulpit||Olympio|| |
2019 c.||SW||Cindago||Giant's Causeway||3x3 Giant's
|Booze Runner||SWN||Empire Maker||Polish
Numbers || |