From The Sidelines
(Maximum Sports Channels – PDL
) Gun Runner is set to return to action in 2018 in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, where his connections will be hoping he can become the second-ever winner of the richest race in the world. Gun Runner is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Arrogate, who was able to complete the Breeders’ Cup Classic and World Cup double 12 months ago.
Credit: BloodHorse via Twitter
Steven Asmussen’s runner landed the biggest prize of his career at Del Mar back in November at the Breeders’ Cup meeting, where he made all to prevail by just over two lengths ahead of Collected and West Coach, respectively. The defending champion Arrogate could only finish fifth, in what was being billed as a dual between the top two horses in the betting beforehand.
Gun Runner has now won his last four consecutive races in a run that started back in June at Churchill Downs in the Grade One Stephen Foster Handicap. Successes then followed in the Whitney Stakes and Woodward Stakes, both of which came at Saratoga at the top level, the latter of which was by a ten-length margin of victory in a dominant display.
The Pegasus World Cup is the first big international dirt race of 2018 and Gun Runner is -120 in the horse racing betting to be successful in Florida. five-year-old old is likely to then travel to the UAE to take part in the Dubai World Cup in March. American trained horses have been successful at Meydan in three of the last five runnings of the contest so he will be fancied to add more prize money in what could be his last season on the track.
Collected Set For Second Shot at Gun Runner
Collected will have another opportunity to get the better of the only horse to finish ahead of him in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Gulfstream Park where connections will be hoping a change in course will improve their horse’s chances.
Credit: Breeders’ Cup via Twitter
Bob Baffert has won just about every big dirt race to take place in the USA barring the Pegasus World Cup, therefore, the hall of fame trainer will be keen to add it to his collection before he retires with the son of City Zip.
Collected ended 2017 in disappointing fashion as he could only come home third in the Grade Two San Antonio Stakes. There were four victories last season for the impressive five-year-old, though, with the highlight of the campaign coming in the Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar, where he finished ahead of Arrogate and Accelerate over 2000 metres.
Baffert’s horse can be backed at +500 to score at the Florida track, where he will face a maximum of ten rivals. Stablemate West Coast is also expected to join Collected and will be one of the youngest horses in the field at the age of four. The colt was outpaced inside the final 400 metres in the Breeders’ Cup Classic but kept on gamely to come home inside the placings.
The 2018 Pegasus World Cup takes place on January 27 and will be screened live on NBC in the USA.