Run the Gantlet

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Run the Gantlet
Sire Tom Rolfe
Grandsire Ribot
Dam First Feather
Damsire First Landing
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1968
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder Paul Mellon
Owner Rokeby Stables
Trainer J. Elliott Burch
Record 21: 9-4-3
Earnings US$559,079
Major wins
Garden State Futurity (1970)
Man o' War Stakes (1971)
Tidal Handicap (1971)
United Nations Handicap (1971)
Washington, D.C. International Stakes (1971)
Bowling Green Handicap (1972)
American Champion Male Turf Horse (1971)

Run the Gantlet (1968–1986) was an American Champion Thoroughbred racehorse and noted sire.


He was out of the mare First Feather, whom owner Paul Mellon had purchased as a yearling at a then record price of $90,000 for a filly. He was sired by the 1965 Preakness Stakes winner, Tom Rolfe, a son of the undefeated European superstar, Ribot. Run the Gantlet is a descendant of Nearco through his damsire First Landing who won the 1959 Kentucky Derby.

Racing career[edit]

Raced under Mellon's Rokeby Stables colors, Run the Gantlet was trained by future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Elliott Burch. Sent to the track at age two, Run the Gantlet's most important win in 1970 came in the Garden State Futurity. As a three-year-old, Run the Gantlet excelled in races on turf. The colt won six of his ten starts in 1971, including five stakes in a row. He emerged from the shadow of his more famous stable companion Fort Marcy to win the United Nations Handicap.[1] He capped off the year with a six-length win on a soggy Laurel Park Racecourse in the Washington, D.C. International Stakes.[2] Run the Gantlet's 1971 performances earned him American Champion Male Turf Horse honors.

Run the Gantlet returned to race at age four in 1972, notably winning the Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park.

Stud record[edit]

Retired to the Gilltown Stud in County Kildare, Ireland, Run the Gantlet was the sire of 39 stakes race winners, including outstanding runners such as:

Run the Gantlet was also the damsire of Risk Me, winner of the 1987 Group One Grand Prix de Paris and Prix Jean Prat.

Run the Gantlet died at age 18 on February 28, 1986 at Jerry Hoffberger's breeding farm in Woodbine, Maryland.[3]


  1. ^ "Burch pick just right in UN Cap". Schenectady Gazette. 20 September 1921. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  2. ^ "Run the Gantlet romps at Laurel". St. Petersburg Times. 26 October 1971. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived August 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.