Friday, December 31, 2021

Gun Runner capped his record-setting First-Crop sire season with a flourish, tallying three maiden winners on the final day of 2021 to give him a total of 31 for the year.

The former Horse of the Year topped the 2021 North American First-Crop Sire list in every category, setting the record for progeny earnings at $4,315,980. His winners included six stakes winners, four of them graded, led by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and Frizette S. (G1) winner Echo Zulu.

McLaren Vale and Flying Drummer both won maiden special weight races at Santa Anita Park on Friday, with McLaren Vale winning his debut by a length at 6 ½-furlongs, while Flying Drummer rolled by 5 ½-lengths in a one-mile contest. Both colts are trained by Bob Baffert.

McLaren Vale is owned by a large partnership led by Golconda Stable and bred by Austramore Pty. Ltd. He sold for $625,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling sale. McLaren Vale is out of Magical Weekend, whose is a half-sister to the dam of 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify.

Flying Drummer sold to his owner Michael Lund Petersen for $850,000 at the 2021 OBS Spring Sale of 2-year-olds. Bred by Eico Ventures, Flying Drummer is out of the stakes winner Salamera.

Gun Runner’s third winner of the came came at Aqueduct when Runninsonofagun came home a 3 ¾-length maiden winner at six furlongs. The bay juvenile is owned by Robert Bone and Edward Brown and was bred in Kentucky by Dattt Farm LLC. Runninsonofagun is a half-brother to Alcibiades S. (G1) winner My Conquestadory.

The 2022 campaign kicks off for Gun Runner with a quartet of entries over the Jan. 1-2 weekend, including Ruggs in the Jan. 1 Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park.