Gun Runner's 2-year-old brother aims for Fair Grounds debut

November 21, 2019 12:53pm

The last time sire Candy Ride had matched with the mare Quiet Giant, 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner resulted. So who could blame Three Chimneys Farm for trying again?

Fortune Ticket, a 2-year-old full brother to the champion, is in training with Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who put the colt through a five-furlong breeze Monday in 1:01.60 at Fair Grounds.

“Apparently he went well — a good first 5/8s,” said Three Chimneys Vice Chairman Doug Cauthen, who expects Fortune Ticket to debut sometime during the meet in New Orleans that opens Thanksgiving day.

“He’s definitely the little brother. He’s not very big, but he’s athletic and acts like he wants to try to do something. We’ll just keep letting him proceed and see what happens.”

Three Chimneys, which now stands Gun Runner at stud, had thoughts of offering the younger brother at auction. But Cauthen said “X-ray issues” prevented him from becoming a major sales prospect.

“We felt like with the pedigree and everything he deserved a chance for us to see what he could do, but he needed more time to develop and grow up some,” Cauthen said.

Fortune Ticket will run as a homebred for an operation with stakes in a number of previous Kentucky Derby runners such as Chief’s Crown (third, 1985), War Chant (ninth, 2000), Supah Blitz (13th, 2003) and, of course, 2016’s show finisher.

Gun Runner went on to win six of seven starts as an older horse, including five straight Grade 1s as he closed his career in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup.

Whether Fortune Ticket has that sort of ability, “You’ve got to wait and see, but the blood is good, so you never know,” Cauthen said.

Asmussen, who Cauthen says “gets first choice” on relatives of his top Three Chimneys runners, actually started working the colt last spring, then stopped on him.

“Sometimes if you turn them out,” Cauthen added, “they just lengthen and grow if they’re not putting all their energy into training. It wasn’t a setback other than maturity and growth.”

Monday’s breeze was the third of this cycle for Fortune Ticket, who also has a pair of half-mile drills on his work tab dating back to Nov. 6.

 

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