by Gulfstream Park Press Release
January 7, 2018
NEW ORLEANS — Prohibitive Horse of the Year favorite Gun Runner had another methodical work on his march to Gulfstream Park’s $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), motoring three-quarters of a mile in 1:13 1/5 with his faithful workmate Gettysburg Sunday morning at the Fair Grounds.
Starting off a couple of lengths behind his fellow newly-turned 5-year-old, Gun Runner went splits in 12 1/5 seconds, 24 2/5 seconds, 36 2/6 and 49 1/5, going the final quarter-mile in 24 seconds before completing the six furlongs in 1:13 1/5, galloping out seven-eighths of a mile in a strong 1:25 4/5 and the mile in 1:39 4/5. Gun Runner was on Gettysburg’s hip through the stretch before striding out in front coming to the wire with minimal encouragement from jockey Florent Geroux.
The workout came a week after Gun Runner and Gettysburg powered six furlongs in a race-worthy 1:10 3/5, a more resolute training move in anticipation of below-freezing temperatures in New Orleans.
“They worked head-and-head last week, and this week we chose to back him off Gettysburg early and just let him settle,” Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said by phone. “I thought he handled it really nicely and galloped out really good. It wasn’t as intense of a work as last week, and I feel good about it…. He was probably two or three (lengths) off of Gettysburg away from the pole, engaged him probably by the three-eighths pole and Gettysburg carried him to almost the sixteenth pole.”
The Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner is expected to be asked for more in next Sunday’s work, his final at the Fair Grounds before flying out Jan. 18 to Fort Lauderdale and Gulfstream Park. If the Asmussen training pattern holds, Gun Runner will have an easy half-mile at Gulfstream to conclude preparation for his career finale before starting a stallion career at Three Chimneys Farm, the breeding operation near Lexington that owns Gun Runner with Winchell Thoroughbreds.