Saturday, February 05, 2022

Gun Runner got his first graded stakes winner of the year in Saturday’s $250,000 Withers S. (G3) when Early Voting rolled to a 4 ½-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile affair for 3-year-olds.

Early Voting, who was making just his second lifetime start following a Dec. 18 debut maiden win, also at Aqueduct, was hustled from his outside post to make the lead right from the start of the Withers. He settled nicely and was up two lengths after a half-mile in :48.04. He doubled that margin after six furlongs and was all by himself the rest of the way.

“He’s a horse that’s going to progress with each race. Each race is going to propel him, and we’ve seen that in the morning with him,” said Dan Stupp, assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown. “He was very impressive in his works. Especially, in his last two works leading up to this. He’s an exciting horse and I was really ready to see him run today. I think he’ll move forward nicely in his 3-year-old year.”

Early Voting was a $200,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase by his owner Klaravich Stables Inc. He has earned $181,500 in his two wins.

Early Voting was bred by Three Chimneys Farm. His dam Amour d’Ete is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Irap and a half-sister to Speightstown. Amour d’Ete has a 2-year-old full sister to Early Voting, a yearling filly by Constitution, and is in foal to Volatile.

Gun Runner, last year’s champion First-Crop sire, is off to a red-hot start in 2022, already accounting for six stakes horses and a pair of stakes winners.