Fan favorite Gun Runner is likely out of the Pegasus World Cup due to complications involving an equine herpivirus outbreak at Fair Grounds. The conditions for transporting horses that have been under recent quarantine are strict for obvious reasons, and Gulfstream Park has their own criteria. PJ Campo, the general manager of the track, had to report the unfortunate news which involves some curious actions by the connections for the recent Clark Handicap winner.
“They haven’t fulfilled the requirements.” Campo said. “They refused to do nasal swab and we haven’t received any paperwork. That’s a non-starter for us. We have to protect the integrity of our backstretch.”
“They require a blood test and nasal swab. We’re fine with the blood test, because the blood test should cover everything,” replied Ron Winchell, who own Gun Runner. “With the nasal swab, our vet recommended not to do that and said there is a 15% chance of false positive. If he has a false positive, he has to stand for 30 days on concrete. That could be harmful to him and his future. Why should we subject our future with Gun Runner to that? It’s a roll of the dice not worth taking.”
Gun Runner was expected to be a nice addition to the field of the Pegasus World Cup, which remains highlighted by California Chrome and Arrogate. At 6-2-2 in 12 starts, Gun Runner is coming off a strong showing at the Clark Handicap that followed up his second place finish to Tamarkuz at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. His four-year-old season is not getting off to the best start, which is going to be a bit frustration for both his supporters and trainers.
Fair Grounds had their quarantine lifted on Sunday so the mandates restricting Gun Runner’s entry in to the Pegasus World Cup are strictly imposed by the hosting track.
In his place, War Envoy will run at Gulfstream Park this coming weekend in the $12 million extravaganza. Owned by Ruis Racing LLC, the five-year-old was last out finishing 8th at the Eddie D. Stakes and 11th at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. It’s a major step down from a competitor of Gun Runner’s caliber.