Pegasus World Cup: Gun Runner is Almost In
January 20, 2017 04:23am

Last night, January 19, it was announced a contract was made to enter Gun Runner in the Pegasus World Cup if he was able to make it to Gulfstream Park from quarantined Fair Grounds. Pegasus stakeholder Ruis Racing, who currently has two-time winner War Envoy entered, agreed to partner with Gun Runner’s owners, Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm for a shot in the $12 million race.


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Brian Zipse has made the projected odds for the Pegasus World Cup, assuming that Gun Runner will be in the field, which can be seen below from the HRN Stakes Tracker. Gun Runner has been made a clear third choice behind California Chrome and Arrogate.



Following a victory in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap, trainer Steve Asmussen mulled over the idea of sending Gun Runner to the Pegasus World Cup. After some time to think, the decision was made to point the son of Candy Ride to the race, but a major road block got in the way.



Fair Grounds, where Asmussen bases horses in the winter, fell under quarantine when an EHV-1 breakout occurred on the backside, resulting in 40 horses with the virus. Gun Runner, who is currently stabled at Fair Grounds, became stuck. His connections have been training him up to the Pegasus with hopes of the quarantine lifting. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry stated this could happen by Saturday for the barns that did not house an EHV-1 positive, as long as no other positives arise.


Arkansas’s Oaklawn Park, the state of Kentucky, and the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company have not allowed any horses from Louisiana to ship in because of the EHV-1 breakout, but Gulfstream Park has not followed suit.


With $12 million on the line, fueled by the twelve $1 million entry slots, Gulfstream Park and the Stronach Group are searching for the best horses to run in their inaugural race. It could be argued Gun Runner was the most consistent three-year-old colt from beginning to end of 2016, and he topped it off with a Grade 1 over older horses. Clearly, Gun Runner would be a much better Pegasus prospect than War Envoy, and Gulfstream Park is ready to take the risk.


By Christine Oser


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