Gun Runner’s First Yearlings Start Strong At Keeneland September Sale

When a high-profile stallion retires, one of the early milepost goals is to have his first foals make an impression in Book 1 of the Keeneland September Yearling sale. For champion Gun Runner, that plan is coming along nicely.

The 2017 Horse of the Year and resident of Three Chimneys in Midway, Ky., was the leading first-crop sire by average sale price during Sunday’s opening session of the Keeneland September sale, and he was responsible for the day’s co-most expensive yearling by a rookie stallion: a $750,000 half-brother to champion Untapable.

Gun Runner had five yearlings bring a combined $2,005,000 on Sunday for an average of $401,000 – the eighth-highest overall average of the session. The opening-day effort comes shortly after seven Gun Runner yearlings brought $2,320,000 for an average of $331,429 at the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase.

After the first few days of selling in central Kentucky, Tom Hamm of Three Chimneys was pleased with what he’s seen so far.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “It just shows he’s being received well. I think the breeders are happy with the way they sold, and I think the people who are out there buying are obviously showing that that like them. It’s good for Gun Runner.”

Sunday’s top Gun Runner yearling was a colt out of the Grade 2-winning Prized mare Fun House who sold to L&N Racing for $750,000. Fun House earned Broodmare of the Year honors in 2014 with runners including champion Untapable and Grade 1 winner Paddy O’Prado. She is also the dam of graded stakes producer Double Tapped.

Offered as Hip 175, the colt was consigned by Gainesway, agent.

“I looked at that horse on the farm a couple times, and then here at the sale. I thought he was a good colt with plenty of size and scope,” Hamm said. “Obviously, he has a big pedigree, from the family of Untapable. I thought he was worth every penny of that.”

The Gun Runner colt tied for the day’s highest price from a first-crop yearling with Hip 116, a colt by the late champion Arrogate who sold to Yuji Hasegawa.

Through the halfway point of Keeneland September’s first book, Gun Runner leads all first-crop sires by number sold at $500,000 or more, with three.

Earlier during Sunday’s session, Robert Baker and William Mack went to $510,000 for Hip 156, a Gun Runner colt out of the Street Cry mare Esprit de Vie. At the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase, Fortune Farm and It’s All About the Girls bought Hip 570, a filly out of the Grade 2-placed Divine Park mare Divine Dawn, for $500,000.

The high-level performance carries over from last year, when Gun Runner was North America’s leading first-crop weanling sire by gross and average, with eight youngsters bringing a combined $2,755,000 and an average of $344,375. His weanling gross was second only to top commercial sire Into Mischief in last year’s overall race, as well.

Gun Runner, a 7-year-old son of Candy Ride, has 67 yearlings cataloged in this year’s Keeneland September sale, the fifth-most of any first-crop stallion. Adding that to the 12 cataloged in the recent Fasig-Tipton sale, Hamm has had plenty of homework to do in order to hone his eye for what the stallion has to offer. Fortunately, the prices have largely lived up to the expectations set during farm inspections.

“I think I’ve seen every one that’s entered in either the Fasig sale or Keeneland sale – I know I have,” he said. “Overall, they’re just really good, athletic horses. They’re good movers, and they resemble him a lot. They have plenty of leg, maybe more leg than a lot of people expected. It’s a good crop of horses. We’re very pleased with them.”

The post Gun Runner’s First Yearlings Start Strong At Keeneland September Sale appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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