Arms Runner became the first black-type winner for his sire, Ocala Stud stallion Overdriven, with a 1 1/2-length victory for Rockingham Ranch May 13 in the $101,690 Desert Code Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Springing a minor upset in the 6 1/2-furlong dash over the hillside turf course, the gray colt overcame trouble turning for home but won geared down under Norberto Arroyo Jr.
Arms Runner had to check off the heels of stablemate Big League approaching the dirt crossing at the top of the stretch, and was forced to alter course again when in behind longshot What'sontheagenda three-sixteenths of a mile out.
"Those horses came back to us pretty quick, but I had plenty of horse to overcome it," said Arroyo. "He went around them easily. I'm confident he'll be able to stretch out to a mile."
Purchased for $525,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales March sale of 2-year-olds in training, Florida-bred Arms Runner was an impressive first-out maiden winner down the hillside course April 20 and is now unbeaten in two starts. Off as the second choice at 8-5 in field of seven 3-year-olds, he paid $5.20, $2.80 and $2.60 after finishing in 1:12.33.
"I stuck my neck out buying this horse," trainer Peter Miller said. "I never push owners to buy horses, but I pushed pretty hard for Gary (Hartunian, of Rockingham Ranch) to buy this one."