Gun Runner in Good Order, Likely for Pegasus

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Gun Runner | Breeders’ Cup/Eclipse Sportswire

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}), a decisive winner of Saturday’s GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, emerged from his triumph in good order Sunday and will likely point toward a start in the $16-million GI Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, according to Scott Blasi, long-time assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. Blasi reflected on Saturday’s 2 1/4-length victory and what it means to train a likely Horse of the Year.

“To help develop another Horse of the Year, our fourth in a decade, is unbelievable,” said Blasi, who also worked with 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d’Oro) and 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin (Smart Strike). “I think he needs to get all the limelight right now. He deserves it, and he’s earned it. He came out in good shape. Right now, he’s going to go to Three Chimneys for a few days to relax and we’ll bring him back in. Right now, we want to get through this and then look at the next race.”

Gun Runner will likely join Asmussen’s Fair Grounds-based string in New Orleans later this year to point to the Pegasus, a race from which he was excluded this year because of an EHV-1 outbreak at Fair Grounds. Calling an audible, the chestnut was re-routed to the Feb. 20 GIII Razorback H. at Oaklawn–a race he won easily–before finishing second to North America’s all-time leading money earner Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) in the G1 Dubai World Cup Mar. 25. He returned to the States in ultra-sharp form, reeling off three consecutive Grade I tallies in the June 17 Stephen Foster H., the Aug. 5 Whitney S. and the Sept. 2 Woodward S. prior to his crowning achievement at the World Championships Saturday.

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