Thursday, June 23, 2016 10:51 AM
Geroux and Gun Runner Flying High into Betfair.com Haskell
By Dean Keppler
In a recent article posted on Daily Racing Form, trainer Steve Asmussen had this to say about his thriving, late-developing multiple Grade 2 winning 3-year-old colt Gun Runner. After his smashing victory at 1/10 at Churchill Downs in the Grade 3 Matt Winn against 5 overmatched rivals, Asmussen added-- “His confidence is right where we want it.” The same could be said for the colt’s jockey Florent “Flo” Geroux who has become the fiercest rider in the nation the past 2 years.
Geroux doesn’t turn 30 until next month, but the Frenchman has already accumulated $7.3 million dollars in earnings, and accumulated 27 graded stakes victories this year and last. Doug Bredar, a longtime racing official-turned—jockey’s agent teamed up with Geroux back in 2010. After a bumpy start that produced little success between the pair, this jockey/agent duo have simply exploded right to the top of the industry in almost unconceivable fashion. Bredar and Geroux have partnered up to deliver recent Grade 1 victories with some of the nation’s biggest equine athlete stars including: Cavorting, Mongolian Saturday, Catch a Glimpse, The Pizza Man, I’m a Chatterbox, and Her Emmynency. The pair hope to add Gun Runner to that list of champions as he sets his sights on The Shore’s Greatest Stretch.
On Sunday July 31, this overpowering team hope to transform the Steve Assmussen-trained colt Gun Runner into another Grade 1 winner by taking this year’s edition of the Betfair.com Haskell. Gun Runner, winner of the Grade 2 Risen Star and Louisiana Derby, finished 3rd in this year’s Kentucky Derby behind champion Nyquist. These two star 3-year-olds might have the opportunity to meet again if Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill choose the Jersey Shore as their next stop for their champion colt.
As the “what ifs” and anticipation builds towards the meet’s premier Grade 1 million dollar Betfair.com Haskell, this year’s edition also offers the first year of legalized exchange wagering in the state of New Jersey. While it might be tough to match the enthusiasm of the “Pharoah Phan Phestival” entourage of 2015 when the first Triple Crown Champion of 37 years made his star-studded appearance at the track, the folks at Betfair.com and Monmouth Park are hopeful this year’ s edition can drum up the same type of excitement and enthusiasm both online and at the track. It will be the first time New Jersey residents within the borders of the Garden State will have the opportunity to back Gun Runner or maybe Nyquist to win or lose using exchange wagering—the newest revolutionary betting tool! In addition, they’ll be an opportunity to lock in at fixed odds on the big race, and use the “in-running” betting option allowing wagers to be placed after the field for the 49th edition of the Betfair.com Haskell Invitational have left the gate. Some very exciting times for New Jersey racing fans and residents hoping to watch and wager on world-class racing on what many industry experts call a game-changing platform.
For more information on New Jersey exchange wagering go to www.betfair.com.
About Dean Keppler
Dean Keppler has been handicapping Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds for over 30 years, and is the former Director of DRF Press for Daily Racing Form. He's authored two handicapping books for DRF titled: “Trainer Angles” and “Betting the Kentucky Derby,” and has published several handicapping articles for Horseplayer Magazine. Keppler is an NHC qualifier, and his work has appeared in Forbes Magazine, Paulick Report, New York Times, The Saratoga Special, and several other prolific publications.