Gun Run­ner rolls to Clas­sic vic­tory; Ar­ro­gate places fifth

$6 mil­lion purse goes to win­ner of fourth straight

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS - By Beth Har­ris

DEL MAR, CALIF. — There’s a new king in horse rac­ing and it’s Gun Run­ner.

The 4-year-old colt won the $6 mil­lion Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic by 21⁄4 lengths Satur­day, send­ing ri­val Ar­ro­gate to a ca­reer-end­ing de­feat at Del Mar.

Gun Run­ner ran 11⁄4 miles in 2:01.29 and paid $6.80, $4.40 and $3.20.

Col­lected re­turned $5.60 and $4, while West Coast was an­other 11⁄4 lengths back in third and paid $3.60.

Ar­ro­gate fin­ished in a dead-heat for fifth with Gun­n­ev­era, done in once again at the sea­side track north of San Diego. It was the scene of two losses dur­ing the sum­mer.

“He just doesn’t seem to get a hold of this race­track, for what­ever rea­son,” jockey Mike Smith said. “I hate to blame it on the track, but he’s shown it time and time again. I keep try­ing to talk my­self into it, that he’s go­ing to like it one day, but he just never did.”

Ar­ro­gate hasn’t been the same horse since his dom­i­nant wins in the $12 mil­lion Pe­ga­sus World Cup and the $10 mil­lion Dubai World Cup ear­lier this year that made him the sport’s rich­est thor­ough­bred with over $17 mil­lion in earn­ings.

The Dubai race was the last time Gun Run­ner lost. Since then, he’s emerged stronger than ever with four con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries.

Ar­ro­gate was a slight 2-1 fa­vorite over Gun Run­ner, with $1,420,233 bet on Ar­ro­gate to win — $132,416 more than on Gun Run­ner.

Bob Baf­fert sad­dled a record four horses in pur­suit of a record fourth straight win in the Clas­sic. He fin­ished 2-3 with Col­lected and West Coast, and was left to puzzle over an­other dis­ap­point­ing show­ing by Ar­ro­gate. His other horse, Mub­taahij, was eighth.

Ar­ro­gate broke a step slow and banged his left side on the start­ing gate.

“At the break when he ducked in and he had to gather him up, you just can’t do that against these horses,” Baf­fert said.

War Story was fourth, fol­lowed by Ar­ro­gate and Gun­n­ev­era, Churchill, Mub­taahij, War De­cree, Pavel and Win the Space. In other races:

Good Magic won the $2 mil­lion Ju­ve­nile by 41⁄4 lengths, mak­ing him the win­ter fa­vorite for next year’s Ken­tucky Derby. Rid­den by Jose Or­tiz, Good Magic ran 11⁄16 miles in 1:43.34 and paid $25 to win at 11-1 odds. Trained by Brown, Good Magic earned his first win af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond in his first two ca­reer starts. Solo­mini, trained by Baf­fert, fin­ished sec­ond. Bolt D’Oro, the 3-5 fa­vorite, was third. Curlin, a former BC Clas­sic win­ner, sired the win­ner and sec­ond place fin­isher.

Trainer Peter Miller went 1-2 in the $1 mil­lion Turf Sprint with 30-1 shot Stormy Lib­eral win­ning by a head over 13-1 shot Richard’s Boy. Stormy Lib­eral paid $62.40 to win.

Tal­is­matic ral­lied in the stretch to win the $4 mil­lion Turf by a half-length at 14-1 odds. The Bri­tain-bred colt ran 11⁄2 miles in 2:26.19 and paid $30.20 to win. De­fend­ing cham­pion High­land Reel — the 7-5 fa­vorite — was third.

Smith scored an up­set — his lead­ing 26th Cup win — in the $2 mil­lion Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies with 17-1 shot Cale­do­nia Road.

World Ap­proval be­came the sec­ond fa­vorite to win on the week­end, tak­ing the $2 mil­lion Mile by 11⁄4 lengths and giv­ing jockey John Ve­lazquez his sec­ond Cup win in two days.

The week­end’s big­gest up­set was staged by 60-1 shot Bar of Gold in the $1 mil­lion Filly & Mare Sprint. Rid­den by Irad Or­tiz Jr., Bar of Gold ran seven fur­longs in 1:22.63 and paid $135.40 to win.

Wuheida took the $2 mil­lion Filly & Mare Turf by a length and paid $24.40 at 11-1 odds.

Roy H won the $1.5 mil­lion Sprint by a length un­der Kent De­sormeaux, giv­ing Miller his sec­ond vic­tory on the week­end. The win­ner paid $11.80 at 9-2 odds.

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