Asmussen's Epicenter Located KYD Points: Gun Runner Stakes Results 2021

More KYD148 Points are being awarded ... the 1st Gun Runner Stakes is in the books ... see which colt won, below ...
More KYD148 Points are being awarded ... the 1st Gun Runner Stakes is in the books ... see which colt won, below ...

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Right when the tote board at the Fair Grounds began to flicker, bringing up the numbers for the inaugural running of the $100k Gunner Runner Stakes, it was evident that Brad Cox's Rocket Dawg #3 would end up being the race time favorite. Fluctuating from 3/5 to 1/1, the colt by Classic Empire, ridden by Florent Geroux, got absolutely bet down during the early wagering. Owner Frank Fletcher's runner was well-backed.

As for the other 6 that were drawn-in, it was Steve Asmussen's Epicenter #1 piloted by Brian Hernandez at odds of 5/2, and Bret Calhoun's Tejano Twist #6, with Joe Rocco Jr. in the irons at 7/2, that served as 2nd and 3rd choice. For these 2-yr-olds that are about to be 3 next week, it is the KYD 148 Points of 10-4-2-1 that were at stake. As expert race caller John G. Dooley took his place high above the Fair Grounds Grandstand, they were loaded and on their way from the gate ...

Right from the start, the aggressive-riding Reylu Gutierrez aboard Dallas Stewart's Surfer Dude #4 (10/1) tried to gain the advantage. The Asmussen colt by Not This Time that is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, quickly tracked the leader. Hernandez was keen too ... not going to let Epicenter #1 get behind. He pressed and pressed his 2-yr-old, eventually drawing alongside Gutierrez as the backstretch opened up. As for Rocket Dawg #3, he was rank, having difficulty early, and Geroux tried to do everything he could to keep his mount in the race.

Around the far turn, it appeared that Cox's charge did not have the strength to keep up with the leaders. In the meantime, it was the son of Practical Joke, piloted by Rocco, Tejano Twist #6, that was running on nicely ... making steady progress as the top of the lane arrived. In the end though, it was Hernandez who would be victorious aboard the well-bred Epicenter #1. Urging his mount on, he won by 6 lengths, going along, almost effortlessly with a furlong to left ... The win gives Asmussen a legit early Derby Trail runner, as he seeks his 1st Kentucky Derby score. His colt gets his 10 pts., in what amounted to an ultra-sharp performance.

Rounding out the minors, and still garnering KY Derby Points was Tejano Twist #6 (place, 4 pts.), Surfer Dude #4 (show, 2 pts.), and finally, Kevin's Folly #5 (who was 8/1 at post time) (4th, 1 pt.). The Fair Grounds addition of the Gun Runner Stakes was clearly a great addition to the Derby Trail, and it will be interesting to see where Asmussen spots this one next ... will it be the Grade 3 running of the Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 22, next year? Stay tuned ... That next step in the "Louisiana Series" also has 10-4-2-1 at stake.

Should be another step along the "Road to the Kentucky Derby!"

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Gun Runner Stakes Results & Payouts 2021
  • Position ...
  • Horse ...
  • Win ...
  • Place ...
  • Show ...

Position ...

  • Win ...
  • Place ...
  • Show ...

Horse ...

  • Epicenter #1
  • Tejano Twist #6
  • Surfer Dude #4

Win ...

  • $7.80

Place ...

  • $4.80
  • $4.20

Show ...

  • $2.80
  • $3.20
  • $4.00

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