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Gun Runner instilled as 4-5 favorite for Pegasus

The post position draw for this Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational has been set with Gun Runner the heavy 4-5 favorite in his last career race. The $16 million race will be held for the second time at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

The nationally televised race on NBC will feature the top five finishers from last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, won by Gun Runner in convincing fashion, and the Cigar Mile winner Sharp Azteca, who was instilled as second choice at 6-1.  Sharp Azteca drew post No. 4.

Gun Runner, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, drew post No. 10, on the outside which could be a concern with the short run up to the first turn at Gulfstream. He’s won 11 of 18 starts and four straight since his loss to Arrogate in last March’s Dubai World Cup. He’s also the likely favorite on Thursday night as the 2017 Horse of the Year.

Asmussen wasn't concerned with the outside post. "He drew better than he did in last year’s Pegasus, so we’ll see what we can get done this year," said Asmussen. "I’ve always said, you don’t know to complain about the post position until after a race is run. It might work out perfectly for him. The horse is doing extremely well and in the capable hands of Florent Geroux. Hopefully we’ll have a big day Saturday and send the 2017 Horse of the Year out on top.”

The News will be onsite at Gulfstream on Saturday for the big race.  Here are some details regarding the starters.

Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational

Post time: 5:40 p.m. ET

Where: Gulfstream Park

Purse: $16 million

Distance: 1 1/8 miles

TV: NBC (4:30-6 p.m.)

Post, horse, trainer, jockey, odds

  1. Singing Bullet, Dale Romans, Robby Albarado, 30-1
  1. West Coast, Bob Baffert, Javier Castellano, 8-1
  1. Stellar Wind, Chad Brown, Joel Rosario, 30-1
  1. Sharp Azteca, Jorge Navarro, Irad Ortiz Jr., 6-1
  1. Collected, Bob Baffert, Mike Smith, 8-1
  1. Gunnevera, Antonio Sano, Luis Saez, 15-1
  1. Fear the Cowboy, Efren Loza Jr., Tyler Gaffalione, 30-1
  1. War Story, Jorge Navarro, Jose Ortiz, 25-1
  1. Toast of New York, Jamie Osborne, Frankie Dettori, 20-1
  1. Gun Runner, Steve Asmussen, Florent Geroux, 4-5
  1. Seeking the Soul, Dallas Stewart, John Velazquez, 25-1
  1. Giant Expectations, Peter Eurton, Gary Stevens, 30-1

Also Eligible:

  1. Giuseppe the Great, Nick Zito
  1. Game Over, Jorge Navarro

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

 

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