America’s horse of the year defied a wide draw to win the Pegasus World Cup in a scintillating display.
Gun Runner went off as an even favourite from the difficult to win from #10 stall but exploded out of them to take up position on early leader Collected’s shoulder. The rest of the race went exactly to plan for trainer Steve Asmussen with jockey Florent Geroux effortlessly manoeuvring Gun Runner into the lead 3 furlongs out.
The race wasn’t decided yet though with Bob Baffert’s West Coast looming threateningly on Gun Runner’s flank. However, despite having started the race at blistering speed, America’s Horse of the Year dug deep to repel the challenge and even pull away, eventually winning by two and a half lengths (with West Coast a further eleven lengths clear of the rest of the field) in a time of 1min 47.41 seconds.
The crowd was ecstatic whilst trainer Asmussen stated that winning the Pegasus was “very emotional being Gun Runner’s last race” and that it was “a fairytale ending to a beautiful story”.
At the other end of the $16 million affair, British trained Toast of New York did not produce a fairytale ending for connections, fading out of contention on the home turn after hanging on to the coat-tails of the leaders down the backstretch. He eventually finished last of the 12 having expended all of his fuel down the back straight.
Overall, the second running of The Pegasus World Cup was a great success with great quality racing and a fantastic atmosphere with celebrities in abundance. We hear at Racing Breaks already can’t wait for the 2019 edition!