HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Owner/trainer Antonio Sano’s Gunnevera made his Florida return a successful one, breezing to a 5-length victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Tangelo Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Tracking the pace through the backstretch, jockey Edgard Zayas put Gunnevera to task and caught the pacesetters while racing four-wide through the far turn. Exiting onto the front stretch, Gunnevera kicked away with ease and cruised home under a tight hand ride.
“He did it pretty easy, as we expected,” Zayas said. “On the first turn, Prince Tito was trying to take him a little outside, so I saved some ground. He was much the best. I was trying to stay out of trouble, so I put him back on the outside and made one run. He did it pretty easy. Once he got to the stretch, he fired up.”
The 3-year-old colt out of Dialed In began 2017 with three starts at his home base, finishing second in the Grade 2 Holy Bull, winning the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, and finishing third in the Grade 1 Florida Derby. Sano then embarked on the Triple Crown trail with Gunnevera, finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness.
Sano gave Gunnevera time off to freshen up before entering the Tangelo as a prep for the Grade 1 Travers on August 26 at Saratoga, where Zayas is expected to retain the mount.
“My horse is back 100%,” Sano said. “The race was very easy for him today. He’s gained weight. He’s very happy. And now we’ll go to the Travers.”
Front Loaded finished second ahead of Manolete, Prince Tito, and Arrecife. Unbridled Holiday was scratched.
The $60,000 winner’s share increased Gunnevera’s career earnings to $1,275,200 with a record of 12-5-2-1.
Gunnevera paid $2.40 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. Front Loaded paid $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show, while Manolete paid $3.40 to show.