Gun Runner dominated racing in 2017, winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic and three other Grade 1s and his brilliant run stretched into the start of 2018 with a Horse of the Year title and one final victory in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.
Retired shortly after the Pegasus, Gun Runner quickly settled into his new home at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., to prepare for his second career in the breeding shed. Joe Clancy caught up with his new caretakers at Three Chimneys and his piece “Farm boy Gun Runner adapts to new life” checks in as the fourth most read story at This Is Horse Racing for 2018.
Joe chatted with Sandy Hatfield, Three Chimneys’ stallion manager; and Chris Baker, the farm’s chief operating officer, to get a feel for the 5-year-old’s adjustment to life on the farm. Hatfield started off paraphrasing what Gun Runner might be thinking.
“Whatever you want to do is fine,” she said, paraphrasing the 2017 Horse of the Year’s opinion on turnout, a visit to the breeding shed and a life without a daily gallop or someone walking up with a saddle. “It’s not a big deal. Show me what to do.”
The piece went on to elaborate on Gun Runner’s daily activities, which went down just a few days after being crowned Horse of the Year and champion older male of 2017, and of course after winning the $16.3 million Pegasus World Cup.
“Gun Runner spent Saturday night at Gulfstream in south Florida, then flew to Kentucky Sunday morning,” Joe wrote. “Hatfield was on the plane with the horse and they arrived at Three Chimneys about 1 p.m. Gun Runner went for a short walk, picked some grass and got acquainted with a new place. Monday, he was turned out in a paddock from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Tuesday was more of the same (albeit with about half of Monday’s tranquilizer), though he spent his afternoon as the center of attention at a lunch for farm employees. Wednesday looked a lot like Tuesday (only no tranquilizer) with a visit to the breeding shed for his first test breeding. Thursday included another turnout session – buck, play, roll, eat grass, look at things – and another test breeding.”
The story ran Feb. 2 and is No. 4 on the TIHR Top 10 for 2018.
Check out the rest of the TIHR Top 10 for 2018:
No. 9: Three weeks…
No. 7: Newspapers, tragedy, life
No. 6: Far From Ordinary
Check back Saturday for No. 3.