Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Epicenter picked up 10 points on the 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series following his 6 1/2-length romp in the $98,000 Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds on December 26. The winner clocked 1 1/16 miles on the fast dirt surface in 1:44.19, and Brian Hernandez Jr. was up for conditioner Steve Asmussen.

“We love his tactical speed, his ability to put himself in position to do well”, assistant trainer Scott Blasi stated after the race. ““He’s still lightly raced, still learning, but hopefully there are some big things to come.”

Tejano Twist, Surfer Dude, and Kevin’s Folly rounded out the top four and earned 4-2-1 points, respectively.

Epicenter improved his career mark to 3-2-0-0, $130,639 following his initial black-type victory. Debuting beneath the Twin Spires on September 18 in a seven-furlong maiden special weight dash, the bay colt led the field to the turn for home prior to tiring late, ultimately finishing sixth. He returned on Nov. 13 in a one-mile test at the same venue, displaying marked improvement when forcing the pace early and cruising home to a 3 1/2-length score.

The youngster was bred in the Bluegrass State by Westwind Farms and brought the gavel down at $260,000 at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. By Not this Time, the colt is the first black-type performer produced from the stakes-winning Candy Ride mare Silent Candy, who bagged the 2010 Hatoof S. on the Arlington Park lawn.

Epicenter has registered Brisnet Speed figures of 82-95-90 from his trio of races to date. The January foal has a substantial amount of stamina influences throughout his catalog page, and that combined with his running style gives me the impression of a horse who will handle classic distances with continued progression.

The Lecomte S. (G3) at Fair Grounds on January 22 is the next potential landing spot for the rising colt.