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Horses Take Different Paths Following Pegasus World Cup (G1)

Mar 8, 2018
Winner, Horse of the Year Gun Runner Enjoying New Career at Stud 

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Led by reigning Horse of the Year Gun Runner, several horses find themselves on different paths more than a month after competing in the second edition of the world’s richest race, the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park.

Gun Runner capped his brilliant career with an authoritative 2 ½-length triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, the sixth Grade 1 victory and 10th in a graded-stakes for the son of Candy Ride, who was retired to co-owner Three Chimneys Farm following the race with $15,988,500 in purse earnings.

The morning after his historic victory at Gulfstream, Gun Runner headed to Three Chimneys in Midway, Ky. where he is standing his first year for a fee of $70,000. Grant Williamson, Director of Stallion Nominations and Sales at Three Chimneys, said Gun Runner has a full book and will breed to approximately 170 mares this year.

Graded-stakes producer But for Money, the dam of graded-stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Eskenformoney, and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Untapped, a full sister to champion Untapable, were the first two mares confirmed to be in foal to Gun Runner.

“Gun Runner has settled very well into his new home and has taken to his new job with great professionalism. We have been delighted by his reception from breeders,” Williamson said. “He has made a fast start, with 11 of 12 mares checked so far being in foal on one cover.

“Horses of Gun Runner’s stature do not come along very often,” he added. “We are privileged to have been along for the ride the last few years. The team at Three Chimneys is very proud to have him home.”

The second and third-place finishers from the Pegasus World Cup, West Coast and South Florida-based Gunnevera, are headed for a rematch in the $10 million Dubai World Cup March 31 at Meydan Racecourse.

West Coast, the 3-year-old male champion of 2017 trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, has had four works since the Pegasus at Santa Anita Park, most recently going five furlongs in 59.40 seconds, handily, March 5 – the fourth-fastest of 114 horses at the distance.

Gunnevera has breezed three times at Gulfstream Park West for trainer Antonio Sano, who said the Dialed In colt was discovered to have a partially descended testicle following the Pegasus which he believed affected his performance. In the two works since having the issue resolved without surgery, Gunnevera has gone five furlongs in 58.60 and 59.40 seconds, both bullets.

“The horse after the Pegasus Cup had a problem in the back with a testicle. In the Pegasus, it bothered him,” Sano said. “Since then he’s been a 100 percent different horse. His last two works he has worked like he never has in his life. We are preparing him the same way for Dubai and looking forward very much to the race. The horse is very, very good.”

Sano said Gunnevera, who will be ridden by Joel Rosario in the Dubai World Cup, is scheduled to leave March 20 followed by the trainer March 25.

Also being pointed to Dubai is Grade 1 winner Sharp Azteca, eighth in the Pegasus World Cup in his 5-year-old debut. Sharp Azteca, a five-time graded-stakes winner and earner of more than $2 million from 17 starts, has worked twice since the Pegasus including a bullet five-furlongs in 59.80 seconds Feb. 25 at Gulfstream Park West.

Navarro’s other Pegasus starter, 10th-place finisher War Story, is the 8-5 program favorite and 123-pound highweight from outside Post 7 in Saturday’s $100,000 Challenger Stakes for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles at Tampa Bay Downs. 

Entered to meet up again in Saturday’s $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) are Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti’s Fear the Cowboy, fourth in the Pegasus for trainer Efren Loza Jr., and ninth-place finisher Giant Expectations.

Fear the Cowboy, a multiple graded-stakes winner of more than $1.5 million in career purses, has had three works at the Oakridge Training Center in Ocala, Fla. since the Pegasus. Exline-Border Racing, Gatto Racing and Garrett Zubok’s Giant Expectations shows four breezes at Santa Anita following the Pegasus, capped by a bullet five furlongs in 59 seconds March 4.

Giant Expectations is cross-entered in the $400,000 Triple Bend Stakes (G1) at seven furlongs on the same card, but trainer Peter Eurton said he is leaning toward the 1 ¼-mile Big ‘Cap.

“Winning the Big ‘Cap would mean a lot to me,” Eurton said. “I’m totally stoked to win a race like that.”

The Pegasus returns to Gulfstream January 26. 

Guests at the second Pegasus included, Belinda Stronach (Chairman & President, The Stronach Group); Pharrell Williams; Lenny Kravitz; Olivia Culpo (Actress/Model, Miss Universe 2012 Winner); Wilmer Valderrama; Post Malone; Ludacris; Jermaine Dupri; Prince Royce (Singer / Songwriter); Danielle Bernstein (@WeWoreWhat); Carson Kressley (TV Personality); Blaine Trump (philanthropist); Caroline Vreeland (Singer / Actress); Rashard Lewis (Former NBA Player); Nic Roldan (Professional Polo Player); Brian Poli-Dixon (Former NFL Player); David and Isabela Grutman; Stephen and Petra Levin (Philanthropist); Ellen Salpeter (Director, Institute of Contemporary Art Miami); Craig Robins (CEO, DACRA); Ingrid Hoffman (TV personality and restaurateur); among others. 

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