- Chris Costello
Gun Runner wins the Pegasus in style going out on top in his final race
The 2nd Pegasus World Cup Invitational didn't disappoint. Last year the match race we all wanted between Arrogate and California Chrome never lived up to its billing due to California Chrome's injury during the race. This year the favorite and 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic winner, Gun Runner had more than a few challengers that were going to try and spoil his final race before retiring to a stud career. There were West Coast, Gunnevera, Collected, Sharp Azteca, and Stellar Wind to name a few. No matter how well they all ran, it just didn't matter because it was Gun Runner's day; but more than that, Gun Runner was just the best horse in this race, the best race horse in this country, and possibly the best race horse in this world at this time. Even starting in the 10th post position and having a short straight run after the race start, racing right into a turn wasn't going to stop Gun Runner. As I expected it was Gun Runner in the lead in the final stretch and West Coast and his jockey, Javier Castellano lingering right behind. For a second I thought West Coast would catch Gun Runner, but then Florent Geroux asked Gun Runner for some more and in spectacular fashion Gun Runner showed us all what a world class horse he is. He took off and the Pegasus Cup was his. What a way to go out. Breeders' Cup Classic champion to horse of the year to winning the Pegasus Cup. Simply Amazing!!! As My Dad and I headed back to Miami Beach we hit traffic as usual and I began to ponder my 2nd Pegasus weekend. I thought about the great meal at Smith & Wollensky with my family, catching up with the gate crew at Gulfstream Park, the amazing job by Gulfstream putting together a great race day, LIV nightclub creating a club at the track, and most of all I thought about Gun Runner and his team. I thought about the owner Winchell, trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey, Florent Geroux. As I write this, Gun Runner has already arrived at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky to start his stud career. I have a feeling his team won't be saying any goodbyes, they will be just saying see ya next time. I can't speak for Gun Runner's team, but what I can say is one day I hope people realize how special this horse is. He belongs up with there with American Pharoah, California Chrome and Arrogate (recent retired champions). Thank you Gun Runner and thank you to his team. You provided so much excitement over the past few years. You will be greatly missed and good luck with your stud career. Until next year, Pegasus and Miami. Its now time to start on the road to the roses in good ole Kentucky.