Despite asserting himself as the Horse of the Year thanks to a dominant showing in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Gun Runner has one more race to go. The Steve Asmussen trainee, who is owned by both Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm, will compete in the upcoming 2018 Pegasus World Cup and look to go out on top in the second running of the mega event. Training at Fair Grounds, Gun Runner ran 1:02 2/5 over five furlongs and galloped out an easy half-mile in :52 2/5.
“It was pretty on par, on schedule, working backward every Sunday morning from the Pegasus,” said David Fiske, racing and bloodstock manager of co-owner Winchell Thoroughbreds, who observed the training remotely. “Nothing exciting, just gradually getting him ramped up. They’ll gradually get longer and more serious. He’ll get with company three or four works out, gradually get faster and farther. We’ll just keep turning the dial up.”
Gun Runner has won $8,988,500 in his amazing and unexpected career thanks to major victories in the 2017 renditions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Woodward kes
kes, Whitney and the Stephen Foster Handicap. With the 2018 Pegasus offering at least a $12 million purse, he could see his earnings sky rocket should he win. That would put the 2018 Dubai World Cup well within reach, thought it would be foolish to try and boost Gun Runner’s breeding value with a lengthy, overseas travel in tough conditions.
Besides, Gun Runner’s connections have already stated that he will retire following the 2018 Pegasus World Cup and stand at Three Chimney’s Farm for a hefty price of $70,000. To put that in perspective, California Chrome stands for $40,000 on average while American Pharoah commands a whopping $200,000. Both Uncle Mo and Curlin have seen their own prices drive north of $150,000 as well thanks to some impressive performances by their offspring in 2016 and 2017.
In fact, Fiske has stated that there’s already a lineup for Gun Runner’s lineage. “The seasons are flying off the shelf, as far as I can tell,” Fiske said. “They keep sending me over mares that have been submitted. I mean, I get five or six of those a day to look at.”
The 2018 Pegasus World Cup will be the first major race of the new year, running on January 28th out of Gulfstream Park. It is expected to feature a long list of viable contenders including West Coast, Collected and Forever Unbridled amongst many others.