Suns Out Guns Out Contests Saturday's Gotham Stakes (G3)
Suns Out Guns Out will carry the black and gold postward in Saturday’s $400,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Race Course, looking to launch 2012 Derby dreams for West Point Thoroughbreds' Partners.
The lone maiden in a field of 13 starters that includes 2011 2-year-old champion Hansen, our 3-year-old son of Empire Maker nevertheless fits right into the mix numbers-wise. Trainer Dale Romans feels confident this is the best spot to potentially advance at this point in the horse’s career.
“If we run big and get some graded earnings, we stay on course and try to find us another place to get some more graded earnings and give him a chance to be a Triple Crown horse,” Romans said. “If we go up there and don’t run like we think we’re going to and we’re over-matched, we just back up and look for a maiden race. There’s a lot of good 3-year-old stuff out there right now.”
In his past two outings, Suns Out Guns Out was knocking at the door with back-to-back third-place efforts in strong maiden special weights at Gulfstream Park.
“The horse that ran second to us in our maiden two races ago (Battle Hardened) went on to Tampa and won a stake,” said Romans, referring to the winner of the Sam F. Davis (G3). “Our runner has been in some pretty good company down here and his numbers have been right at par with some of the better races.
“We all buy these yearlings and 2-year-olds wanting to go to the Kentucky Derby, and get ourselves stuck in a bind sometimes when we have to wait on a horse to come around. You know, we need earnings and this is the only way to get them. We’ve given him time, he’s come around, and he’s finally put it all together. There’s nothing to lose, really.”
Suns Out Guns Out drew post seven in a field of 13. He arrived at trainer Dale Romans’ New York barn Wednesday evening, trained lightly on Thursday morning, and will do the same Friday.
“This horse has really moved forward since stretching out around two turns,” said Terry Finley, founder and president of West Point Thoroughbreds. “We know we’re the underdog going in, but he’s picked up his head in the mornings. We look at numbers, especially Ragozin numbers, and he fits. There’s a lot to be gained here. If he doesn’t run well, we’ll regroup. That’s why we’re in racing, to chase the dream.”
The 1 1/16-mile Gotham, with an estimated post time of 5:02 ET., is race 10 on an 11-race card. Aqueduct’s third-leading jockey, Irad Ortiz Jr., has the call.