Gun Runner is a special animal. Probably better than he gets credit for given the way racing has changed. He’s danced a lot of big dances without ever really tailing off for a long time. He won the Breeders’ Cup Classic against the bias, and his Dubai race last year was really huge.
Arrogate got all the laurels, and no argument there but, consider every horse won from well off the pace that night. Gun Runner set the pace and held on for second at 1 1/4 in the desert with no Lasix. He’s never bounced and the real question in the second running of the Pegasus World Cup is not if he’s the best horse or if the 10 post will hurt him, it’s if he has gone to the well one too many times. Go to the well enough eventually the bottom will fall out.
From what I have personally seen of Gun Runner coming up to this race he looks amazing. he looks like a budding three year old ready to peak not a horse in danger of a regression and running their last race. He cocks his head and prances full of poise and touting himself. I think he has another in him. Someone will really have to run a monstar to beat him, or maybe someone gets aggressive and floats Florent Geroux wide.
It is horse racing and we have a 16 million dollar purse with all kinds of deals and leases behind the running slots. Things can happen. I know Geroux has high confidence in his horse and rightfully so, and he likes to put him on the lead, but that will be a daunting challenge with Sharp Azteca in there and likely a mistake. he’s got to stalk and pounce at the right time.
That “right time” will be determined by two factors, the pace, and what everyone else is doing. Bob Baffert has two in there with West Coast who is really good and figures to have gotten better and Collected who is one serious horse himself. Given Bob’s record he has to be the main danger.
Regardless of what happens that last eigth of a mile, we are saying goodbye to one old school fast racehorse in Gun Runner.