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The second annual Pegasus World Cup is in the books, and once again, it was a rousing success. A record handle of nearly $42 million was bet on the card, which is a Gulfstream Park non-Breeders’ Cup day record. The day gave us several memorable moments, but certainly none bigger than the amazing win by Gun Runner in the Pegasus World Cup. Obviously, he’s the number-one star this week for making the most of his final race, but let’s see who else made the list:
A legend ends his career on top of his game! Drawing post ten made for some anxious moments in the lead-up to the Pegasus World Cup for the connections of Gun Runner, but all worry was quickly tossed aside when the gates opened. The 5-year-old horse sprung right out with his mind on business and jockey Florent Geroux urged him for speed. Going into the first turn, he had gained the position he needed and was only two-wide, instead of the four- or five-wide that was projected by several prognosticators. Collected set the early tempo, with Gun Runner stalking him the whole way around the track. At the top of the stretch, Gun Runner disposed of Collected with ease, then dug in deep to hold off West Coast, who ran a huge race to finish second. Those two were well clear of a pack of others, including Gunnevera, who finished over 13 lengths behind the winner in third. It’s off to the breeding shed for Gun Runner after he cemented his legacy as one of the best horses that we’ve seen in recent years. Farewell, Champ.
This horse just loves Gulfstream Park! It’s the home of many of his best races, and Saturday’s Fred W. Hooper Stakes victory ranks right up there with his other solid performances. Tommy Macho got position early on as he stalked what ended up by a mild pace, then had enough left in reserve to hold off a serious late charge from longshot Conquest Big E. The win gives him six victories in 19 starts and inches him close to the $1 million mark in earnings. You can bet we’ll see him in a lot of big races once again this season, and I’m sure that another start at Gulfstream will be on his radar.
Gun Runner wasn’t the only horse on Saturday to retire at the top of their game. Top class turf sprinter Rainbow Heir made his final race count on Saturday, dominating the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint to win by 2 lengths. After dropping back early, he came flying late to pass the field with relative ease for the victory. The win caps off a solid career, as he won 14 of 31 races with final career earnings of $804,395. He retires off of two straight wins, running a tremendous Beyer of 105 in his final race.
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