A copper flash of lightening flew out of gate 10 to find his perfect stalking position just to the outside of a Baffert need to lead star. The field was filled with twelve heavy hitters that day all vying for the Seven million dollars that was on the line for the winner. He stayed latched to the front runner’s hind as they made their way to the far turn and with 3 furlongs left to go, the copper bullet made his move passing that Baffert horse while yet another Baffert clone hotshot came rolling up from behind. As the two passed the final turn, the lead this time would not be denied and the copper superstar set down for his stretch drive with his head down low and his body straight. The Horse of the Year ran his last race, exiting his impeccable career with one last major Grade 1 win.
With a race record of 19 starts, 12 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds and 16 million dollars in the bank, this Candy Ride son showed a consistency rarely displayed in recent years. He won his maiden at first ask traveling one mile at Churchill Downs. He backed that win up with another in an allowance run traveling an additional 1/16th at Keeneland. His third race, his first Graded Stakes race at Churchill, The Kentucky Jockey Club, he faltered in the stretch and posted the first of two show spots of his career. The loss there did not deter him. He then traveled to Fairgrounds Race Track and took home the trophies of both the Risen Star and The Louisiana Derby which stamped his ticket into the Kentucky Derby.
On that first Saturday in May, under clear skies and a fast clean track, this son of Candy Ride took his second and final third place showing against a group of highly advantaged speed demons. His elevated stamina inheritance was a disadvantage for that particular race but he still proved his talent and determination and would not be denied a spot on that coveted board. This race was the prelude to the magnificence still to come.
Unwilling to accept defeat at Churchill, the copper colt was then asked to defeat his opponents in the Matt Winn stakes and his connections watched their charge take command to demolish that field by over 5 lengths. Six weeks later, he entered a gate against the two who beat him in the Derby and posted the only poor run of his career in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth. The sloppy track was no doubt the demise for this stamina colt and it took no time to shake that loss off. This beauty was tested, armed and ready but the next few races still presented him disadvantages against the speed he was pitted against. While he still managed to see his number on the tote boards of the Travers Stakes, the Pennsylvania Derby and The Breeders Dirt Mile carrying that strong disadvantage, he was still sitting on the sidelines of greatness and respect. That part of his career soon ended and the Candy Ride boy decided it was time to fly.
Returning to Churchill Downs for the Clark Handicap traveling a mile and 1/8th, he took the lead straight into the clubhouse turn and never looked back. He wired the field in 1:48.50 after only 3 weeks rest between his last. He was sent to Oaklawn Park for his next and took another trophy home in the Razorback.
One month later, the budding star found himself in Dubai, pitted against the best horses in the world. He was denied the win and had to settle for second behind a Baffert Behemoth who ran one of the most incredible races ever witnessed. Breaking dead last, the eventual winner, who was smack dab in the middle of his prime, put on a spectacular performance leaving the Candy Ride boy far ahead of the rest of the field but several lengths behind the winner. The performance of both earned high respect for America, taking the top two spots in the Dubai World Cup.
Trips to Dubai usually affect our American runners negatively and that was shown in Baffert’s winner who had three races left to run in his career and never won again. He posted 4th in the San Diego Handicap, second in the Pacific Classic and 5th in his last race, the Breeders Cup Classic. The Dubai hero of 2017, Arrogate, may have beat out the copper Candy Ride boy overseas but the trip and the defeat seemed to only enhance the power he was holding and his name became the talk of horse players around the world.
He proceeded to win his last 5 races in spectacular manner. Gun Runner won the Stephen Foster. He won the Whitney Stakes. He won the Woodward Stakes. He won the Breeders Cup Classic and in that race he showed his old Dubai foe, Arrogate, exactly who the true superstar was. Finally, the last race Gun Runner ran, the Pegasus World Cup, he entered that Winners Circle one last time.
Ranked 1st and 2nd by earnings in 2017 and 2018 and the Eclipse Award Winner for both Champion Older Dirt Males and Horse of the Year, Gun Runner will go down in history as one the finest and most talented thoroughbreds of our time.
On March 8th, 2013, a foal was born to Candy Ride out of Quiet Giant.
His name was Gun Runner.
On May 17th, 2017, another foal was born to Candy Ride out of Quiet Giant.
His name is Fortune Ticket.
The breeding is exact and the road ahead for Fortune Ticket will be just the same as Shared Legacy, the full brother to yet another monster son of Candy Ride named Shared Belief, whose shoes needed to be filled. Rarely does the outcome match the hero but we can only hope to see it come to fruition again.
GUN RUNNER FORTUNE TICKET
Chef’s DP = 1-2-14-1-0 (18) DI = 1.25 CD = 0.17
Mare’s DP = 1-5-5-8-7 Speed = 6 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.44 Triads = 11-18-20
Mare’s CD = -0.58 Chefs CD = .17 Combined CD = -0.49
Combined Distance Capability = 12.75f
The combined distance capability is 12.75 furlongs which is reminiscent of old time classic runners rarely seen today in the United States. These are overseas numbers from a time in history where stamina ruled, the grass ruled and the natural speed of the Thoroughbred was enhanced by training and determination. The 9 points separating the speed and stamina inheritance from the mares coupled with his chef's 1.25 index shows a colt who is brimming with stamina. The 5 digit profiles of both the chef's and the mares are highly lacking in the first two slots, the brilliant (4f-5f-6f) and the Intermediate (7f-8f-9f) categories and reveals a colt who was not fed short early speed and who needs to draw from his own natural tendencies. Under one mile is not the ideal and luckily for Gun Runner, his connections deemed it right in entering him at one mile for his debut. Hopefully, Fortune Ticket does the same.
The excellence and talent of a handful of Candy Ride sons who can draw out that magnificent speed and allow their stamina to carry it as long as they need to go will always be revealed in their maiden race. With two workouts already posted, the wait for Fortune Ticket will not be long and hopefully a debut and a win at Churchill Downs will mimic his brother and foretell the career to come.
This is a Virtual Stable Alert.