The exceptional early achievements of Horse of the Year Gun Runner suggests strongly that he is going to be as great a Champion at stud as he was on the track. One of his major contributors has been the tough and fast Gunite, who figures among Gun Runner’s magnificent total of six first-crop Gr.1 winners. The signs are that Gun Runner has another sensational crop in the making with his 2023 2YOs, which already include Gr.1 winner Locked, Gr.2 winner Chatalas and the Gr.1-placed Life Talk and Wonder Ride.
With impressive career figures of 20-9-7-2, the resilient Gunite gained his first Gr.1 success when he took the 7f. Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga by nearly six lengths. Saratoga was also the scene of two of Gunite’s other important victories. At three he took the Gr.2 Amsterdam Stakes over 6½f. and at four he led virtually all the way in the Gr.1 Forego Stakes over 7f., to end the long winning sequence of champion sprinter Elite Power. Gunite’s dam Simple Surprise and 2nd dam Simplify were both stakes winners at Saratoga.
Gunite’s soundness can be attributed to his excellent conformation and bloodlines. Gun Runner retired sound after 19 races, many of them at the highest level. Also, Gunite is inbred 3x3 to Giant’s Causeway, who as a racehorse earned the nickname “The Iron Horse” and as a stallion topped the Blood-Horse’s general sires’ table in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Gunite can be expected to work well with the bloodlines which have brought Gun Runner so much success. As Gunite’s two lines of STORM CAT will be back in the fifth generation of his foals’ pedigrees, a further line is possible, especially when his male line has worked so well with STORM CAT. Gunite’s grandsire Candy Ride owes 8 of his 114 stakes winners to daughters of STORM CAT, including champion 2YO Shared Belief. Gun Runner in turn also owes a lot of his success to mares with STORM CAT blood. Echo Zulu is inbred 4x4 and Early Voting 4x3.
SCAT DADDY, another member of the STORM CAT male line, is the broodmare sire of Gun Runner’s Gr.2 winner Pappacap, while HARLAN’S HOLIDAY sired the dam of Gr.3 winner Vhava. These two branches of the STORM CAT line should suit Gunite, as should daughters of INTO MISCHIEF.
PULPIT will be back in the fourth generation of Gunite’s progeny, so again a second line is well worth considering. From his first 25 starters out of TAPIT mares, Gun Runner has sired Gr.1 winner Society, Gr.2 winner Wicked Halo, Gr.3 winners Disarm, Il Miracolo and Red Route One, as well as Listed winner Red Run. Those six black-type winners represent 17% of Gun Runner’s foals out of Tapit mares. Tapit mares create 4x3 inbreeding to Pulpit with Gunite.
PULPIT is by no means the only representative of the A.P. INDY/MR PROSPECTOR cross who is working well with Gun Runner. Gun Runner’s first starter out of a mare by FLATTER is the multiple Gr.1-winning Taiba. And his first seven starters out of mares by MALIBU MOON include Gr.1 Breeders’ Futurity winner Locked and Gr.3 winners Runninsonofagun and Shotgun Hottie. MINESHAFT, another whose grandsires are Seattle Slew and Mr Prospector, is the broodmare sire of the Gr.1-placed Bendoog. BERNARDINI has also started well with Gun Runner. His daughters’ first 5 starters are all winners, including Gr.1-placed 2yo Life Talk, and there is also a Listed winner and a Gr.2-placed winner with dams by A.P. INDY.
Mares from the DISTORTED HUMOR line should suit Gunite, as Gun Runner has sired the Gr.1-winning Cyberknife and Gr.2-placed McLaren Vale from grand-daughters.
Gun Runner is having success with INDIAN CHARLIE line mares. His 2023 Gr.2 2yo winner Chatalas is out of one of his daughters, while Listed winner Concept is out of a grand-daughter. Mares by UNCLE MO could therefore be ideal to reinforce Gunite’s speed.
TIZNOW sired the dam of Preakness winner Early Voting.