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Gun Runner Headed For Derby Rematch in betfair.com Haskell

Posted Friday, Jul 15, 2016

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Gun Runner heads to Monmouth Park for rematch with Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist in the Grade 1, $1 million betfair.com Haskell Invitational on July 31.

            A 3-year-old colt by Candy Ride out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Quiet Giant, Gun Runner is coming in off a wire-to-wire, 5 ¼ length win in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on June 18.

            “He’s been doing well,” said trainer Steve Asmussen when asked how Gun Runner came out of his last start. “He will work either Monday or Tuesday at Saratoga and then we’ll go from there”

            Gun Runner has worked three times since his Matt Winn score. The latest came on July 12, where he went five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 over the fast Saratoga training track.

            Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC, Three Chimney Farm and Besilu Stables, Gun Runner’s only blemish on his 3-year-old campaign came when he finished third in the Kentucky Derby to fellow Haskell rival Nyquist.

            Gun Runner is a multiple Grade 2 victor, winning both of his preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby, The Risen Star Stakes by a half length and the Louisiana Derby by 4 ½ lengths, both races at Fair Grounds.

            “It will depend on the weather on when we will ship down from Saratoga,” said Asmussen.

            Florent Geroux will be aboard Gun Runner in the betfair.com Haskell. He has ridden the colt each of his four prior starts in 2016.

            Along with Nyquist, fellow Kentucky Derby rival Brody’s Cause is pointed to the Haskell as his next start of 2016. Brody’s Cause won the Grade 1 Toyota Bluegrass at Keeneland before finishing seventh in the Derby. He also finished third behind Nyquist in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

            Last year’s Haskell saw Triple Crown winner American Pharoah take the New Jersey’s richest horse race en route to being named Horse of the Year.

            The betfair.com Haskell Invitational is a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Classic division and will be telecast live on NBC.

            Gates will open early on Haskell Day at 10 a.m. with first race scheduled for 12 noon.

            For tickets to this year’s 49th renewal of the betfair.com Haskell Invitational, call 732-571-5563, visit monmouthpark.com/haskell, or stop by the reserved seat ticket booth on the second floor of the Grandstand any live race date.


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