Gunnevera Tunes Up for Breeders’ Cup with ‘Bullet’ at Gulfstream Park West
Oct 7, 2017
Classic Contender Breezes 5 Furlongs in 1:00.60.Under Edgard Zayas
MIAMI GARDENS, FL
– Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) contender Gunnevera produced a second-straight bullet workout at Gulfstream Park West Saturday morning while breezing five furlongs in 1:00.60 under jockey Edgard Zayas.
Trainer Antonio Sano is in Italy to visit his father, who underwent successful emergency heart surgery, and was not in attendance for the 3-year-old son of Dialed In’s third workout since finishing second in the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (G1).
Gunnevera’s workout was the fastest of 11 recorded at the five-furlong distance, following a ‘bullet’ 1:02 Sept. 30 and a 49-second half-mile breeze Sept. 23.
“It went excellent. We wanted him to work a little quicker than he’d been working. He did everything perfect and he galloped out great,” Zayas said. “He’s doing great. He’s getting better and better. He’s getting ready for the race.”
Gunnevera will continue to train at Gulfstream Park West and is scheduled to fly to California Oct. 27.
Gunnevera was 11th during the early going of the 12-horse Travers before making a sweeping move on the turn into the homestretch to engage front-running West Coast at the top of the stretch. West Coast edged away to a 3 ¼-length triumph, but Gunnevera easily held second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Irap.
“He gave me a lot of confidence in him. I knew he was training really good for the Travers, but I had my question about him competing with Always Dreaming and all those horses,” Zayas said. “He definitely showed people he can compete. I have a lot of confidence in him. I know it’s going to be tough racing against older horses, but he’s always going to finish strong.”
Gunnevera broke his maiden at Gulfstream last summer in his third career start after finishing behind eventual FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes champion Three Rules in his first two starts. The Kentucky-bred colt came right back to win the Saratoga Special and would close out his 2-year-old campaign with a 5 ¾-length triumph in the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3).
The Sano trainee launched his 2017 campaign with a second-place finish behind Irish War Cry in the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream before closing from last to win the Fountain of Youth (G2) going away by 5 ¾ lengths. In the Florida Derby (G1), Gunnevera dropped back to last after breaking from the far-outside post position before making a strong run to finish third behind Always Dreaming. He subsequently finished seventh behind that rival in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Gunnevera went on to finish fifth in the Preakness Stakes (G1) before being given a 2 ½-month break from action. He prepped for the Travers with a commanding five-length triumph in the $100,000 Tangelo Stakes at Gulfstream Aug. 6, when Zayas rode him for the first time.”