Meet the Contenders: 2023 Gun Runner Stakes

December 21st, 2023

Meet the horses running in the 2023 Gun Runner Stakes at Fair Grounds. For each horse, we're listing a pro, a con, and a rating of potential. The star rating of 1 to 5 represents opportunity to perform well. Be sure to follow these contenders by adding them to your stable alerts.

Fair Grounds (Photo by Hodges Photography)

#1 Next Level                      **

Pro: Exits game maiden win at Fair Grounds; Grade 1-placed

Con: Faces class check following pair of slow route efforts

Catching Freedom at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

#2 Catching Freedom                      ***

Pro: Sharp debut winner may show more after troubled trip

Con: Late runner must work out trip, trouble cost him

Risk It (Photo by Adam Coglianese)

#3 Risk It                                              **

Pro: Grade 3 runner-up caught in traffic last time, adds Rosario

Con: Best effort at 6f, two turns a question despite pedigree

Gun Runner holds off Foreveamo (Photo by Fair Grounds)

#4 Neat                                                *

Pro: Constitution colt switches to dirt off pair of sharp turf wins

Con: Modest numbers on turf, surface switch a legit question

Footprint at Keenland (Photo by Coady Photography)

#5 Footprint                                       *

Pro: Convincing debut winner exits runner-up vs alw rivals

Con: Must show more to contend vs stakes foes

Nash at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

#6 Nash                                                *****

Pro: Rolled to fast 10-length maiden win; imposing front-end presence

Con: Other speed entered, must work out trip on class hike

Snead at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

#7 Snead                                              **

Pro: Improving closer switched to dirt with pair of convincing wins 

Con: Must run faster to offer serious challenge in stakes debut

Track Phantom breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

Track Phantom breaking his maiden at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

#8 Track Phantom                            ***

Pro: Stretched to two turns with sharp frontrunning maiden win

Con: Steps up, dominated on soft fractions last time