Jockey Florent Geroux, who rode three winners on Keeneland's Thursday program and another on Friday's card, can be forgiven if he is humming “California Dreamin' ” these days.
The 31-year-old Frenchman has ridden Gun Runner in his past 14 races, beginning with the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds in February 2016. The two have combined for an 8-3-2 record with the lone off-the-board finish coming in the slop at Monmouth Park in the Haskell Invitational (G1).
“The first time I rode him in the Risen Star, he got a little tired but I don't think he was fully cranked up since that was his first start in three months,” Geroux said of the half-length victory. “After he won the Louisiana Derby (a G2 by 4½ lengths), I knew he was the real deal.”
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Gun Runner has won four of five races this year, including the past three that he has won by a combined 22½ lengths. Gun Runner is at Santa Anita, where he has worked the past two Mondays and where Geroux will be the next two Mondays for works before the 4-year-old Candy Ride colt ships to Del Mar.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Geroux said of the Classic. “Sometimes at the end of the year, horses start to tail off. But his races have been well spaced and he has won so easily.”
Geroux has won three Breeders' Cup races, including on his first Championships mount with Work All Week in the 2014 Sprint (G1). Work All Week also provided Geroux with the first of his 13 Keeneland stakes victories by taking that year's Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G3).
His other Breeders' Cup victories came at Keeneland in 2015 with Catch a Glimpse in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) and Mongolian Saturday in the Turf Sprint (G1).
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