Sunday, February 06, 2022

Shotgun Hottie outfooted Champagne Poetry in the final strides of Sunday’s $100,000 Ruthless S. at Aqueduct to become the second stakes winner in as many days for Gun Runner.

On Saturday at Aqueduct, Early Voting stamped himself as a Kentucky Derby (G1) contender with a dominating score in the Withers S. (G3). Gun Runner now has nine lifetime stakes winners and is the early leader on the 2022 Second-Crop Sire list with three stakes winners and seven stakes horses this year.

Three-year-old Shotgun Hottie was making her first start for trainer Bill Morey on Sunday. She was in no hurry out of the gate and settled near the back of the seven-horse field for jockey Trevor McCarthy. Lady Milagro led the way through a half-mile in :45.95 and had a three-length lead at the top of the stretch. Shotgun Hottie, widest of all, and Champagne Poetry were both quickly gaining ground in the final furlong and hit the wire on nearly even terms, with Shotgun Hottie getting the nod in 1:24.91 for the seven furlongs on a “good” main track.

“She made a great run and so did the runner-up,” said Morey. “We were charging and caught a good bob on the wire. She’s a nice filly and I think she wants to go further.”

Shotgun Hottie, owned by Jeff Ganje and Omar Aldabbagh, has won two of five starts, with one second, and has earned $134,720. She was bred in Kentucky by Vincent Colbert and is out of Re Entry, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sky Diva.