January 24, 2018

Gunnevera breezes six furlongs for Breeders’ Cup Classic

Gunnevera (far outside, red cap) circles the field on the turn to challenge West Coast (far inside, blue shadow roll) in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on August 26, 2017 (c) NYRA/Robert Mauhar/Adam Coglianese Photography

Multiple Grade 2 hero Gunnevera breezed six furlongs in 1:15 on Sunday over the good dirt at Gulfstream Park West as he continues preparations for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar on November 4.

“It was a nice work. He went very well,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “The track was heavy. It was not a fast track.”

Jockey Edgard Zayas, aboard for Gunnevera’s last pair of starts, held the reins during the workout.

“He will have two more workouts here and then he’ll be ready for the Breeders’ Cup,” Sano said. “This is so important for me and my family. I’m so proud to run a horse in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. It’s a great opportunity.”

Gunnevera was recording his fourth move on Saturday since finishing second at 24-1 in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on August 26. The winner that day, West Coast, is also expected to show up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, along with fellow Bob Baffert trainee and defending champion Arrogate.

“It looks like there is a lot of speed in the race, which is good for me, but there are some very good horses in the race,” Sano said.

Gunnevera’s last pair of breezes were bullet works, as he clocked five furlongs in 1:02 on September 30 and that same distance in 1:00.60 on October 7. They too came at Gulfstream Park West.

Gunnevera was a contender on this year’s Road to the Kentucky Derby, capturing the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) while placing in the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and Florida Derby (G1). The chestnut son of Dialed In finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness Stakes (G1) two weeks later before being given a break.

The Kentucky-bred sophomore returned August 6 to romp by five lengths in the Tangelo and tackled the Travers next out.

Sano indicated Gunnevera is scheduled to fly to California on October 28.

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