January 22, 2019

Gunnevera skipping Harlan’s Holiday, will train up to Pegasus World Cup

Trainer Antonio Sano with Preakness Stakes (G1) contender Gunnevera at Pimlico (c) Jon Kral/Maryland Jockey Club

Multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Gunnevera will train up to the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) on January 27, trainer Antonio Sano announced Saturday.

The sophomore son of Dialed In was expected to make his final start of 2017 in the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on December 16, but Sano said an agreement had been reached with one of the 12 stakeholders holding a $1 million starting berth in the Pegasus World Cup. Part of that agreement is for Gunnevera to bypass the Harlan’s Holiday.

“He’s going to go directly into the Pegasus Cup,” Sano stated. “I found a sponsor for the race, with the condition that he not run in the Harlan’s Holiday and go directly to the Pegasus Cup.”

Gunnevera continued his preparations for the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, breezing six furlongs in 1:15 over the fast main track at Gulfstream Park West on Saturday. It was his third move since finishing a dead-heat fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) on November 4 at Del Mar.

“He went very easy today with (jockey) Edgard Zayas,” Sano said. “He is doing very, very good.”

Also expected to line up in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup is presumptive 2017 Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Gun Runner.

Others eying the race include Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) queen Forever Unbridled, last-out Clark Handicap (G1) victor Seeking the Soul, recent Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) romper Sharp Azteca, Pacific Classic (G1) winner and Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Collected, and dual Grade 1 scorer and Breeders’ Cup Classic third-placer West Coast.