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Gun Runner voted American Horse of the Year

J A McGrath

Gun Runner has been voted 2017 Horse of the Year at the 47th Annual Eclipse Awards Ceremony at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

The Steve Asmussen-trained son of Candy Ride completely dominated the voting and was a universally popular winner of the coveted award.

He had also won the accolade Champion Older Dirt Male earlier in the night. Asmussen said: “The memories that Gun Runner has given us by the year that he has had will stay with us. I thank the owners for taking a horse of his value, who won a Grade 1 as a three-year-old, putting him back in training and being rewarded like this.”

Gun Runner also heads a well-credentialed field of 12 runners for Saturday’s G1 Pegasus at Gulfstream, which will be his last appearance on the racetrack before retirement to stud.

He won five of his six races as a four-year-old, four of them at G1 level. His season ended with a significant victory in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in November.

The award for champion Male Turf Horse was picked up by World Approval, while the Female Turf Horse award went to Lady Eli. Both are extremely popular.

The Eclipse Awards are voted on by the NTRA, a broad-based group representing a variety of stakeholders in American racing, the Daily Racing Form, and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters.