Runninsonofagun Takes Another Swing at G1 Glory in Carter

March 31, 2023

Runninsonofagun after his grade-making victory in the Bold Ruler Oct. 29, 2022 (Susie Raisher)

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Runninsonofagun, who has gone from claim to fame since being haltered for $40,000 by trainer John Toscano, Jr. in December 2021, will look to attain Grade 1 glory in the seven-furlong $300,000 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets on April 8 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Runninsonofagun turned in his final work for the Carter on Friday, covering five furlongs in 1:00.80 over Belmont Park’s dirt training track.

“He worked today and went solo because he’s so fast and nobody else can stay with him, so I can’t work him in company,” Toscano, Jr. said, with a laugh. “I want to try the Carter because the ‘3-other-than’ comes up on April 20, but if I wait for it and it doesn’t go, where am I going to go with him?”

Owned by Karen Zimmerman, the aptly named Runninsonofagun put together a stellar campaign last year that included a third-place finish in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial in August at Saratoga Race Course and on-the-board efforts in four other graded events. He made the grade in October when defeating older horses with a determined nose victory in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler before wrapping up his season with a runner-up effort to Greeley and Ben in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap on November 26.

The son of Gun Runner returned from a three-month layoff on March 4 at the Big A with a game second-place finish to Little Vic in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap in which he sported blinkers with a small slit cut into them. Toscano, Jr. said adding the slit was beneficial to the 4-year-old bay, who is often involved in tight photo finishes.

“It worked out well, because he wasn’t seeing the other horses before and when we put the slits in, he fights now,” said Toscano, Jr. “When he won the Bold Ruler, he looked like he was beat, but then when he was challenged, he took off again and got up at the wire. He ran a hell of a race in the Tom Fool.”

Runninsonofagun boasts a consistent 12-for-13 in-the-money record with total purse earnings of $434,700. He sold for just $16,000 at the 2021 Keeneland Horses of All Ages Sale.

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