Trainer Antonio Sano has opted to train Gunnevera up to a planned start in the $6 Million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.
“The horse will breeze in two weeks,” Gulfstream Park West-based Sano said. “He'll have three breezes before the Breeders' Cup.”
Margoth's 4-year-old son of Dialed In most recently finished second behind Yoshida in the Sept. 1 Woodward Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, overcoming an extremely wide trip to close from 11th to check in two lengths behind the winner. Gunnevera had previously won the 2016 Saratoga Special (G2) and finished second in the 2017 Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
“I'm so happy with him to run so good at Saratoga,” Sano said. “He ran a great race. He was wide all the time but still ran a great race.”
Gunnevera, a multiple Grade 2-stakes winner who has earned more than $3 million in purses, finished third in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream last January before sustaining a nasty foot injury during an off-the-board finish in the Dubai World Cup (G1) last March. The Kentucky-bred colt was freshened in Ocala for two months to give the foot time to heal before returning to training. He returned to action with a sharp 6 ½-length victory in an August 10 optional claiming allowance while prepping for the Woodward.
Gunnevera finished in a dead-heat for fifth with Arrogate after a wide trip in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar last year before making his 2018 debut in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, which will be renewed at Gulfstream Park Jan. 26, when North America's richest race ($9 million) will be accompanied by the new $7 million Pegasus World Turf Cup Invitational (G1).
“After the Breeders' Cup, I'll talk to the owner about the Pegasus,” Sano said. “He's a very sound horse, doing good.
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