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Gunnevera Racing News
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- Named after a small town in Spain.
- His trainer, Antonio Sano, was kidnapped and held for ransom twice in his home country of Venezuela. He managed to escape safely both times.
- Gunnevera was orphaned as a foal and had to be bottle fed.
- Antonio Sano had won over 3,000 races in his native Venezuela. He came to the US in 2010 and is based in Florida.
- Gunnevera was purchased for $16,000 at auction, a relatively low price. He has now earned over $1.1 million.
Gunnevera has for some time looked one of the better Kentucky Derby prospects. After his stunning Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) victory at Gulfstream Park March 4, there are few that would be rated ahead of him.
Trained by Antonio Sano, Gunnevera was one of the better juveniles last season, winning the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) and the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (G3), a race won the previous year by 2016 Derby runner-up Exaggerator.
He has continued to progress at three, finishing second in the Holy Bull (G2) behind Irish War Cry before his 5-3/4 length victory in the Fountain of Youth. He is likely to run next in the Florida Derby (G1) April 1.
Bred by Brandywine Farm and Stephen Upchurch, Gunnevera was a $16,000 bargain buy at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale for Sano, and is owned by Peacock Racing Stables. He is from the first crop of Dialed In, winner of the Florida Derby (G1) before finishing eighth in the 2011 Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness. The distaff side of his pedigree doesn’t have much black type, but does appear to have stamina.
Gunnevera usually settles well off the pace before unleashing a strong staying finish. It’s the sort of style that suggests he has a great chance of staying the 1-1/4 miles of the Kentucky Derby.
Gunnevera was 22-1 chance when Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager ended, but he’s likely to be at shorter odds when the next pool is released. In a year in which the Derby picture has seen many form reversals, Gunnevera’s consistency, good health, and likely stamina makes him an appealing Derby betting prospect.
|7th||Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands||I||1 1/4 Miles||Dirt||May 6, 2017|
|3rd||Xpressbet Florida Derby||I||1 1/8 Miles||Dirt||Apr 1, 2017|
|1st||Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes||II||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt||Mar 4, 2017|
|2nd||Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes||II||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt||Feb 4, 2017|
|1st||$1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes||III||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt||Nov 19, 2016|
|5th||Claiborne Breeders' Futurity Stakes||I||1 1/16 Miles||Dirt||Oct 8, 2016|