SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Gun Runner provided little suspense taking the 90th running of the Whitney Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course.
Jockey Florent Geroux pushed Gun Runner to take an early lead just seconds into the race and never looked back. His winning time was a fast 1:47 on the 1 1/8 miles dirt track.
Keen Ice rode by Jose L. Ortiz finished second and Breaking Lucky with Luis Contreras in the saddle came in the third.
“My horse broke super sharp today from the gate,” said jockey Geroux. “I could have gone to the lead if I wanted to, but I just stayed cover until the five-eighths pole and from there the race was pretty much over. My horse was just on cruise control from all the way from there and then I just gave him a tap around the 1/8 pole to make sure he stayed focused but there was not even a need for that.”
As a result, Gun Runner has qualified for the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 4th in at the Del Mar racetrack in California. It was Gun Runner’s second straight “Win and You’re In” qualifier for this event.
“For him to win a race of quality of the Whitney at Saratoga under the pressure that Saratoga brings only elevates his status,” added trainer, Steve Asmussen. “The crowd that is here, going over walking from the Oklahoma side by the racetrack through the holding barn though the crowd. The attention that is given to a horse of his caliber adds up. The attention is not sneaking up on you and I thought he handled it well. He ran a dynamite race with a very good time over the racetrack here.”
The race was broadcast nationally on NBC, but NEWS10 ABC will continue its deep coverage of the Saratoga meet for the remaining weeks this summer.