Runninsonofagun after his victory in the G3 Bold Ruler Oct. 29, 2022 (Joe Labozzetta)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Karen A. Zimmerman’s Runninsonofagun earned a 98 Beyer Speed Figure for his runner-up performance in his seasonal debut in Saturday’s Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap, at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by John Toscano, Jr., Runninsonofagun, a son of last year’s leading second crop sire Gun Runner, was a narrow winner of the Grade 3 Bold Ruler on October 29 at Belmont at the Big A and was a close second to Greeley and Ben in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight on November 29 here to close out his sophomore campaign. He has finished no worse than third in each of his last nine starts, dating back to a seven-furlong allowance triumph last March at Parx Racing.
“He came out of it well. Everything so far is in good shape. We’re ready for another dance,” Toscano, Jr. said.
Toscano, Jr. was unsure of a next start for the appropriately named Runninsonofagun, and was wary of the upcoming seven-furlong Grade 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap on April 8.
“It might come up a little tough for him,” Toscano, Jr. said. “I’d like to get a win under his belt and get his confidence up. I don’t want to keep him a bridesmaid.”
Toscano, Jr. did not rule out to shipping out of state for his next start and mentioned the possibility of targeting a start in Kentucky.
Runninsonofagun is a winner going both six and seven furlongs and Toscano, Jr. said he has no preference between the two distances. His last start going past seven furlongs took place in last year’s one-mile Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont Park, where he completed the exacta 23 lengths in arrears of Charge It.
“I don’t think he’ll go too long,” Toscano, Jr. said. “I tried him in the Dwyer and he was a default second. When I stretch him, he doesn’t seem to perform as well. I’ll keep him short right now until he shows me otherwise.”
Toscano, Jr. claimed Runninsonofagun for $40,000 in December 2021 following a six-furlong maiden claiming win.
When asked what made Runninsonofagun such an appealing claim, Toscano, Jr. simply replied, “Gun Runner. What more to say? Go to the sale and try to get a Gun Runner for $40,000.”