Gunnevera (Dialed In), last seen finishing a late-running third to Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) in the GI Xpressbet Florida Derby Apr. 1, returned to the worktab for the first time since Saturday morning, working five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 at Gulfstream Park West. Edgard Zayas was in the irons.
“It went very well. He galloped out very, very good,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “He was very relaxed, very quiet, very good. I know the next race is not going to be an easy race, but my horse is working very good,” Sano added.
A $16,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, Gunnevera blew away his rivals in last year’s GIII Delta Jackpot S. and returned to action with a runner-up effort to ‘TDN Rising Star’ Irish War Cry (Curlin) in the GII Holy Bull S. Feb. 4. The chestnut routed Practical Joke (Into Mischief) by nearly six lengths in the GII Fountain of Youth S., a performance which was validated when the latter came back to complete the exacta in the GII Toyota Blue Grass S. Apr. 8.
Late Saturday evening, Sano tweeted that Javier Castellano, in the irons for each of Gunnevera’s three graded-stakes wins, would retain the mount in the GI Kentucky Derby. Castellano was also the regular rider for the previously undefeated ‘TDN Rising Star’ Malagacy (Shackleford), fifth in Saturday’s GI Arkansas Derby.