Updated on 02/21/2017 11:39AM

Gun Runner starts 4-year-old season with dominant score in Razorback

Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park
Florent Geroux guides Gun Runner to a 5 1/4-length victory in the Razorback Handicap on Monday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Gun Runner left no doubt he will be a major player in the handicap ranks this season, powering to a 5 1/4-length win in the Grade 3, $500,000 Razorback Handicap on Monday at Oaklawn. The start was his first at 4 and his first since an outstanding 3-year-old campaign which closed with a win over older rivals in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/16-mile Razorback shared a card with the Grade 3, $500,000 Southwest, won by One Liner.

Gun Runner ($2.40) moved to the lead through an opening quarter in 23.18 seconds. He proceeded to take the field through fractions of 46.88 for the half-mile and 1:11.29 for six furlongs. Gun Runner increased his advantage through the stretch, and went on to cover the 1 1/16 miles in a rapid 1:40.97.

Gun Runner was assigned a 110 Beyer Speed Figure for the Razorback.

“This horse just gets better and better,” said Florent Geroux, who was aboard for trainer Steve Asmussen. “He was in every fight last year and feels even better this year. I’m hoping the sky’s the limit for him.”

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The $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 25 will be a consideration for Gun Runner, co-owner Ron Winchell said after the Razorback. Winchell Thoroughbreds owns the colt with Three Chimneys Farm.

“We'll make a decision as far as Dubai," Winchell said. "Probably in the next few weeks, see how he comes back. We'll see who else is on that airplane." 

Gun Runner arrived at Oaklawn earlier this month after being based at Fair Grounds. The New Orleans track had been on lockdown due to several horses testing positive for equine herpesvirus.

“Coming off the quarantine at Fair Grounds, he’s been ready to run,” Winchell said. “He’s been on go for a while, so you just kind of want to get out there and get that under your belt. If you could script the performance the way you wanted, this was probably it." 

Winchell noted the quick time Monday. 

"Very quick," he said. "Looking at the time, and looking at the way he ran, he was well within himself. It looked fast, but then when you looked at him, he looked like he was going easy, so I was very happy about that." 

Gun Runner earned $300,000 for the win, which pushed his career bankroll to $2,337,800. He has won 7 of 13 starts, including five stakes races. He is a son of Candy Ride.

The ontrack attendance on an afternoon in the 70s was 23,500.