Kentucky Derby

Gunnevera Breezes for G1 Xpressbet.com Florida Derby

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Peacock Racing’s Gunnevera was sent to the track at Gulfstream Park West Saturday morning for an easy 5-furlong workout in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Xpessbet.com Florida Derby on April 1 at Gulfstream Park.

The Antonio Sano-trained multiple graded stakes-winning 3-year-old breezed the five furlongs in 1:04.60.

“I’m very happy.  The horse is 100 percent,” Sano said.  “He’s very quiet, relaxed.  He’s a very happy horse.”

Jockey Edgard Zayas was aboard for Saturday’s breeze, although Javier Castellano has the return mount on the son of Dialed In for the Florida Derby.

“Edgard knows my horse very good.  He has been working my horse every time,” Sano said.  “Castellano rides my horse, Zayas works him.”

Castellano guided Gunnevera to an eye-catching 5 3/4-length triumph in the Grade 2, $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on March 4, stamping the late-closing colt as a prime contender for the 2017 Triple Crown.

Gunnevera captured two graded stakes last year after breaking his maiden at Gulfstream in his third career start last July.  He won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special at Saratoga and concluded his juvenile season with a triumph in the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot in December.  He opened his 3-year-old campaign with a troubled second-place finish behind Irish War Cry in the Grade 2, $350,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull on February 4.  Gunnevera’s momentum was interrupted in a bumping incident at the top of the stretch, but he recovered to finish second.

Meanwhile, at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning, trainer Jose Pinchin sent Three Rules, the pace-setting third-place Fountain of Youth finisher to the track for a strong gallop in preparation for a likely start in the Florida Derby.

“We just two-minute licked him.  He’ll work next week,” Pinchin said.  “We’ve pretty much decided [to run in the Florida Derby].”

Three Rules swept the Florida Sire Stakes series last year and defeated Gunnevera in his first two starts at Gulfstream.

Source: Gulfstream Park

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