Gun Runner continued his climb up the stallion rankings this weekend, setting the record for all-time progeny earnings for a first-crop sire.

Gun Runner First-Crop Record
Gun Runner’s stud fee went from $50,000 in 2021 to $125,000 in 2022. He set the record for first-crop progeny earnings last weekend. (Image: Sarah Andrew)

The Three Chimneys’ stallion climbed over the $3.8 million mark when Shotgun Hottie captured a $92,000 maiden special weight race at Churchill Downs on Sunday. That sent Gun Runner past Uncle Mo’s record of $3,717,490, set in 2015.

To put that record into perspective, Uncle Mo eclipsed Tapit’s first-crop sire record from 2008. Tapit is considered one of the greatest stallions of the 21st century and is the all-time leading North American sire by progeny earnings.

“To surpass a record established by Uncle Mo and Tapit previous to that clearly compares Gun Runner favorably at this point in time with two of the most influential sires at stud today,” Three Chimneys owner Goncalo Torrealba said in a statement. “He not only established a new progeny earnings record, but he is also the leading sire in America by percent(age) of stakes winners to runners among all sires.”

Echo Zulu makes Gun Runner a proud papa

Gun Runner’s progeny start with standout juvenile filly Echo Zulu, the presumptive 2-Year-Old Filly of the Year. She is a three-time Grade 1 winner who breezed to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Echo Zulu earned $1,480,000 in her four 2-year-old starts. They continue with Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes winner Gunite and graded-stakes winners Pappacap and Wicked Halo.

Together, that quartet banked more than $2.51 million their first racing season.

Gun Runner leads all sires on the first-crop list in earnings, black-type winners, graded-stakes winners, and Grade 1 winners.

Gun Runner closed at 9/1 in the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager pool. He was the second favorite among individual horses behind Smile Happy (8/1). Pappacap closed at 23/1, followed by Gunite 25/1 in the first of five Kentucky Derby Future Wager pools.

Setting an example for the kids to follow

All of Gun Runner’s offspring have big hooves to fill. The 8-year-old horse was the Horse of the Year after a season for the ages in 2017. That year, Gun Runner went 5-for-6, with only a second in the Dubai World Cup spoiling the parade. He won the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park and four Grade 1s, including the Stephen Foster, Whitney, Woodward, and Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Barely 2-½ months after that Breeders’ Cup win at Del Mar, Gun Runner closed his career winning the Pegasus World Cup Invitational.

Gun Runner won 12 races and $15,988,500 in his 19-race career, hitting the board 17 times in those 19 races, including a third in the 2016 Kentucky Derby, the only Triple Crown race he ran.

He will stand for $125,000 at Three Chimneys in 2022.