Travers Runner-Up Breezed 4F in 49 Seconds for Breeders’ Cup Classic
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Margoth’s Gunnevera returned to the worktab at Gulfstream Park West Saturday for the first time since finishing second in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
In preparation for a scheduled start in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar Nov. 5, Gunnevera breezed a half mile in 49 seconds under jockey Edgard Zayas.
“He went really well. Nice and easy,” trainer Antonio Sano said. “It was his first work since the Travers, so it was an easy work.”
The clocking was the second fastest of 13 recorded at the distance.
Sano decided to bypass Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx in favor of training the 3-year-old son of Dialed In up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“I want a fresh horse for the Breeders’ Cup,” Sano said. “My horse runs well fresh.”
Gunnevera will continue to train at Gulfstream Park West and is scheduled to fly to California Oct. 27.
Gunnevera settled in 11th during the early going of the 12-horse Travers Aug. 26 before making a sweeping move on the turn into the homestretch to engage front-running West Coast at the top of the stretch. West Coast edged away to a 3 ¼-length triumph, but Gunnevera easily held second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Irap.
Gunnevera broke his maiden at Gulfstream last summer in his third career start after finishing behind eventual FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes champion Three Rules in his first two starts. The Kentucky-bred colt came right back to win the Saratoga Special and would close out his 2-year-old campaign with a 5 ¾-length triumph in the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3).
The Sano trainee launched his 2017 campaign with a second-place finish behind Irish War Cry in the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream before closing from last to win the Fountain of Youth (G2) going away by 5 ¾ lengths. In the Florida Derby (G1), Gunnevera dropped back to last after breaking from the far-outside post position before making a strong run to finish third behind Always Dreaming. He subsequently finished seventh behind that rival in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Gunnevera went on to finish fifth in the Preakness Stakes (G1) before being given a 2 ½-month break from action. He prepped for the Travers with a commanding five-length triumph in the $100,000 Tangelo Stakes at Gulfstream Aug. 6.