Photo: Leslie Martin/Gulfstream Park
The workout, which was the second fastest of 18 recorded at the distance, was the 4-year-old son of Dialed In’s third breeze since finishing second in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 3.
Irad Ortiz Jr. was aboard the Antonio Sano-trained colt for the breeze.
“He’s working really good. He’s been doing everything the right way. He’s getting better and better. Today, he worked better than the last couple times,” Ortiz said. “He’s doing everything comfortable. I put my hands down and he does whatever he wants. We’re just keeping him happy.”
Ortiz, widely regarded as the frontrunner in the race for the 2018 Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey, rode Gunnevera in his second-place Breeders’ Cup Classic finish, in which he recovered from early bumping to close from 11th to come within a length of victorious Accelerate.
“He has a big heart. He always tries,” Ortiz said. “He didn’t have the best trip and just got beat.”
Gunnevera finished third behind Gun Runner and West Coast in last year’s Pegasus World Cup.
Gunnevera, who has earned $4.1 million during his career, captured the 2017 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream. The Antonio Sano-trained 4-year-old son of Dialed In has also won the 2016 Saratoga Special (G2) and the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) and has been Grade 1 stakes-placed in the 2017 Travers (G1) and the 2018 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga.
Gunnevera is on course for a rematch with Accelerate in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup, which will co-headline the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series with the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, North America’s richest turf race.
In other Pegasus happenings, Accelerate breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 Saturday morning at Santa Anita.
Audible, Bravazo, City of Light, Kukulkan, Leofric, Patternrecognition, Seeking the Soul, Something Awesome and Unbridled Juan are also being pointed to the Pegasus World Cup.