Breeders’ Cup Classic Winner Gun Runner Draws Post No. 10 for Pegasus
The soon-to-be Horse of the Year Gun Runner makes his final run on the race track Saturday in the world’s richest race – the $16 million Pegasus World Cup. A winner of 4-straight races leading into the Pegasus including a wire-to-wire win in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in his last race, Gun Runner was installed as the heavy 4-5 race favorite in the Pegasus but will have a little extra challenge in the starting gate.
The Pegasus post-position draw was revealed Wednesday, and Gun Runner drew an unfavorable post, No. 10 in the 12-horse field. The run to the first turn at Gulfstream Park is a short one, and Gun Runner was expected to be among a trio of early front runners or those running along the lead.
Horses that start at least that far from the rail in distance events at Gulfstream are winning at only about an 8 percent clip this season. Then again, none of those starters was of Gun Runner’s caliber.
“I’ve always said you don’t know to complain about a post position until after a race is run,” Gun Runner‘s trainer Steve Asmussen said after Wednesday’s draw. “So it might work out perfectly for him. The horse is doing extremely well, in the capable hands of [jockey] Florent Geroux, and hopefully we’ll have a big day Saturday and send the 2017 Horse of the Year out on top.”
After finishing third in the Kentucky Derby of 2016, Gun Runner blossomed into the giant of his sport, an indefatigable superstar who has improved with age.
“He steps on a racetrack like this is who I am and this is what I want to do with a consistency that is hard to match,” Asmussen said.
Gun Runner will be crowned “Horse of the Year” during Thursday’s Eclipse Award ceremony. He’s owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm.
The field for the Pegasus, from the rail out with morning lines: Singing Bullet, 30-1; West Coast, 8-1; Stellar Wind, 30-1; Sharp Azteca, 6-1; Collected, 8-1; Gunnevera, 15-1; Fear the Cowboy, 30-1; War Story, 25-1; Toast of New York, 20-1; Gun Runner, 4-5; Seeking the Soul, 25-1; Giant Expectations, 30-1.
As Gun Runner makes his final run for glory, he’ll be shooting for his 5th consecutive Grade 1 win and try to add the $7 million 1st place Pegasus prize to his to his nearly $9 million in career earnings.
Gun Runner Career Statistics
Career earnings: $8,988,500
Gun Runner career honors and awards:
2017 – 1st Breeders’ Cup Classic
Gun Runner will retire following the Pegasus World Cup and stand the 2018 breeding season at Three Chimneys Farm in Versailles, Kentucky.