The Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) witnessed Gunnevera’s emerging signature running style of exciting closing speed. The Jackpot was Gunnevera’s second win with this running style, as he finished first previously in the Saratoga Special (G2) on Aug. 14.
Jockey Javier Castellano and Gunnevera trailed early for nearly half the race, which saw a moderate first quarter time of 23:18. Along the final turn, Gunnevera made a massive move on the outside, passing the field as if they were standing still. Overtaking most challengers at the 3/4 mark in a time of 1:12.52, Gunnevera hit the stretch and caught race leader Hot Sean; they locked eyes, and Gunnevera kicked on to win the Jackpot by 5 3/4 lengths. Finishing in 1:45.15 at odds of 5-2, Gunnevera gains 10 points towards his Kentucky Derby (G1) bid, landing him third on the Kentucky Derby points leaders list and obtained a simple chart caller note of “solid try.”
Second place finisher Hot Sean sat off the pace early in second. He dropped to fourth in the field during the far turn, but was left in the dust once Gunnevera locked eyes. Hot Sean obtained 4 points for his efforts and moved to eleventh on the Kentucky Derby points list.
Dangerfield sought respect as he exited the gate at odds of 18-1. Running near the back of the pack early, he gradually moved up to stalk the group of leaders wide outside. Dangerfield came running strong as the field exited the turn to close a gap between him and Hot Sean. Although he had to settle for show, Dangerfield claimed 2 Kentucky Derby points and sits at Number 13 in point standings.
J Boys Echo finished fourth to also round out the top 20 Kentucky Derby points leaders as number 20 with the single point he earned in the Delta Jackpot.
Order of finish for the rest of the field was Balandeen, Pat On the Back, Thirstforlife, Tip Tap Tapizar, Line Judge, and Our Stormin Norman. This is the second-time Tip Tap Tapizar has finished behind Gunnevera in a graded effort.
Gunnevera finished fifth to Kentucky Derby points-leader Classic Empire in the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 8, 2016. With Gunnevera’s two graded wins following this defeat, it appears he has pieced together how to successfully run his race. Trainer Antonio Sano was very pleased with his son of Dialed In and continues to look forward to the next race in 2017 with owners Peacock Racing Stable. Gunnevera was bred by Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch. He earned a BRIS speed rating of 91.
Hot Sean 4-1
|Super High Five||6/8/5/9/7||$1,246.90|