For Immediate Release February 22, 2016
GUNRUNNER MOVES FROM 10 TO 4; NYQUIST PICKS UP VOTE FOR NUMBER 1 IN SECOND WEEK OF ULTIMATE KENTUCKY DERBY POLL PRESENTED BY BRISNET.COM
Gun Runner’s victory in the Feb. 20, Grade II Risen Star Stakes moved the Tapit colt from tenth up to fourth in Week 2 of the Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll presented Brisnet.com. Trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys, Gun Runner now is 3 for 4.
Among the voters who came away convinced after the Risen Star was James Scully, Editorial Department head at Brisnet.com and contributor-content manager for TwinSpires.com’s blog and Kentucky Derby website. Scully did not have Gun Runner in his top 10 in the first poll but this week put him at No. 4.
“I came away impressed by Gun Runner's allowance victory at Keeneland last fall and thought he moved too soon when fourth in his stakes debut, the November 28 Kentucky Jockey Club,” Scully said. “I played him in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager but decided to take a wait-and-see approach regarding top 10 status -- the Risen Star sealed the deal. Love the pedigree (dam is a half to Horse of the Year Saint Liam) and colt is still lightly-raced with room for improvement. Trainer Steve Asmussen, who finished second in 2011 Run for the Roses, has a serious chance to earn his first Kentucky Derby victory with Gun Runner.”
Shadwell Stable’s unbeaten Mohaymen stayed the clear top pick, with eleven No. 1 votes among the 13 high-profile turf journalists and professional handicappers comprising the panel. But one of those top picks shifted, as turf journalist Steve Byk put unbeaten 2-year-old champion Nyquist on top after his victory in Santa Anita’s seven-furlong San Vicente. Nyquist this week received two top-place votes, with Bris director of marketing Ed DeRosa having the champ on top last week.
“Nyquist's excellent season-launching San Vicente effort demands that the Juvenile Champ be placed atop the rankings,” said Byk, who hosts the popular weekday national radio program “At the Races with Steve Byk” (heard live at stevebyk.com and Sirius/XM, and also is a horse owner and bettor from Upstate New York. “Mor Spirit isn't going to wow you, but supplants Mohaymen for me right now based on repeated viewing of his 'better than they look' grind-it-out wins.”
The Ultimate Kentucky Derby poll appears every Monday morning at horseracingradio.net, the website of Eclipse Award-winning Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), which is partnering with Brisnet.com, the official data source of the Kentucky Derby, to produce the rankings.
Airoforce, who defeated Gun Runner to win Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, fell out of the poll after finishing 10th of 11 in the Risen Star. He’s been all but declared off the Derby trail.
The Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll presented by Brisnet.com is overseen by five-time Eclipse Award-winning turf writer Jennie Rees, who will provide comments on the consensus top 10 at horseracingradio.net. Brisnet.com will provide past performances for the poll, which will expand to 20 in a couple of weeks. Rees had Gun Runner No. 2 since the beginning.
Other Ultimate pollsters are Michael Beychok, 2012 National Handicapping Champion and Eclipse Award Handicapper of the Year; reigning NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen; HRRN president and co-founder Mike Penna; Jude Feld, HRRN analyst and former trainer; HRRN analyst and 2014 Miss Connecticut Acacia Courtney; well-known racing broadcast journalist Caton Bredar, on scene at Gulfstream Park’s Championship meet; Jim Mulvihill, director of media and industry relations for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association; Gary Palmisano, VIP services manager for Churchill Downs/TwinSpires.com; and Jeff Siegel, long-time horse owner, racing analyst and public handicapper based in California.
The Horse Racing Radio Network is your home for Eclipse Award winning coverage of the biggest events in racing throughout the year. HRRN broadcasts more than 100 stakes races and is the official radio network of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships. HRRN also produces a series of popular talk shows aired throughout the week on SiriusXM satellite radio: Xpressbet Radio on HRRN (Wednesday – Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET), Jock Talk presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Tuesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Trainer Talk presented by Fasig-Tipton (Wednesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Brisnet Call In Show (Thursday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Xpressbet Weekend Stakes Preview (Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET) and the Equine Forum (Saturday, 8-10 a.m. ET).
For more information visit www.horseracingradio.net, follow us on Twitter @HRRN and like “Horse Racing Radio Network” on Facebook.
Brisnet.com is the official data source of the Kentucky Derby, TwinSpires.com, and Churchill Downs Inc.’s family of racetracks. Founded in 1971 by Richard “Dick” Broadbent III as Bloodstock Research Information Services, Brisnet.com was the first large-scale website to offer past performances online when it launched in 1996. Acquired by CDI in 1996, Brisnet.com is a leading provider of horse racing information. Follow Brisnet.com on Twitter @Brisnet.
About Jennie Rees
Jennie Rees, a five-time Eclipse Award winner and 2014 inductee into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor, covered racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal for 32 years before leaving newspaper journalism to specialize in horse-racing communications, advocacy and fan education. Follow her on Twitter @TracksideJennie and at “Trackside Jennie” on Facebook.