01/22/2018 4:00PM

Plenty of big names in Gun Runner's first book

Barbara D. Livingston
Gun Runner’s first book includes mares selected from the broodmare bands of co-owners Three Chimneys and Winchell Thoroughbreds, but also recruited from outside.

Gun Runner’s name is expected to be in the Horse of the Year envelope opened onstage Thursday night at the Eclipse Awards ceremony, and less than 48 hours later, he will walk onto the track as the heavy favorite for the $16 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. Win or lose, he will depart shortly afterward for Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, where he will begin his stud career the second week of February.

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While this will be a period of dizzying activity, the wheels have actually been quietly turning in the background on Gun Runner’s stud career for some time. The Candy Ride horse, who will stand for an advertised fee of $70,000 in his first season, will cover a solid group of mares. They not only will be selected from the broodmare bands of co-owners Three Chimneys and Winchell Thoroughbreds, but also recruited from prominent players such as Mandy Pope, who has amassed a star-studded group of mates.

Stakes producers in Gun Runner’s first book include Three Chimneys’s House of Danzing, Pin Oak Stud’s Alternate, Pope’s Speed Succeeds, and Eklektikos Stable’s Noble Fire. House of Danzing will be capitalizing on a proven cross. The mare is the dam of Grade 1 winner and successful young sire Twirling Candy, by Gun Runner’s sire, Candy Ride.

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Multiple stakes winner Alternate, a half-sister to Canadian Horse of the Year Peaks and Valleys, is the dam of Grade 2 winner and millionaire Alternation, while Speed Succeeds, a $1 million purchase by Pope, produced the classic-placed Grade 1 winner Brilliant Speed. Stakes-placed Noble Fire is the dam of four stakes horses, led by champion La Verdad and Grade 3 winner Hot City Girl.

Also visiting Gun Runner in his first season are Grade 1 winners Love and Pride – who is from the family of champion and sire Bernardini – Malibu Prayer, and Pure Clan, as well as multiple graded stakes winner Quiet Temper. Also going to him is multiple Chilean Group 1 winner Wapi, a Scat Daddy mare who is from the family of several Southern Hemisphere champions.

Other well-bred mares in Gun Runner’s first book include stakes winner and producer With Flying Colors, a granddaughter of unbeaten champion and blue hen Personal Ensign; Silvery Starlet, a half-sister to Grade 1 winners and sires El Corredor and Roman Ruler; and Amour D’Ete, a half-sister to champion Speightstown and a full sister to Grade 2 winner Irap.