Breeders’ Cup Classic Results
Gun Runner caps off Horse of the Year season with Breeders’ Cup Classic victory
The outcome of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park was put to rest in the stretch run as GUN RUNNER pulled away from Collected to secure the 2 1/4-length victory.
The entire 1 1/4-mile race came down to just those two, as Gun Runner led the way on the backstretch with Collected keeping track just off his flank. Rounding the final bend, Collected drew even with Gun Runner and attempted to speed on by.
The four-year-old son of Candy Ride wasn’t having it though. Digging in under jockey Florent Geroux, Gun Runner drew away from his rival to finish in 2:01.29. He returned $6.80 as the near 5-2 second favorite.
Collected proved best of the rest, 2 1/4 lengths in front of West Coast on the wire. War Story followed in fourth, while 2-1 favorite Arrogate dead-heated for fifth with Gunnevera. Completing the order of finish were Churchill, Mubtaahij, War Decree, Pavel and Win the Space.
Gun Runner capped off a near perfect 2017 season in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, with his only defeat coming as a runner-up performance behind Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1) on March 25.
After returning from the Middle East, the Steve Asmussen-trained chestnut proceeded to romp in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs and Whitney Stakes (G1) and Woodward Stakes (G1) at Saratoga by a combined 22 1/2 lengths.
Gun Runner was a contender during the 2016 Road to the Kentucky Derby, capturing both the Risen Star Stakes (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) before going on to finish third in the Kentucky Derby (G1) behind Nyquist and Exaggerator.
2016 Running of the Breeders' Cup Classic
The 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic was the main event at the weekend-long World championships that took place at Santa Anita. While nine horses assumed the field, the entire focus remained on two very specific rivals. All eyes were on Arrogate and California Chrome.
Art Sherman’s star pupil, California Chrome, had spent the better part of 2016 resurrecting his career. After finishing third in the 2014 renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the beloved champion endured an injury riddled 2015 campaign that saw him bow out by mid-season. Making his return early in 2016, California Chrome was out to prove that there was still plenty left in the tank.
California Chrome began to single handedly eviscerate the competition throughout the year. He destroyed the field in the Dubai World Cup, then returned home to fend off Dortmund on three consecutive occasions while also beating the legendary Beholder in the Pacific Classic. There was no doubt that the 2016 campaign belonged to the one-time Horse of the Year.
But off in the distance, another challenger was emerging amongst the three-year-old colt class. Arrogate had come out of nowhere to win the Travers Stakes in the late summer, and did so by running a 1 ¼ mile in 1:59.36. It was the fastest time in the history of the Travers Stakes.
That victory put Arrogate firmly on the map, and made him a tight 5/2 favorite right behind California Chrome, who was the even money favorite. The pair erupted from the gates, setting a steady pace with California Chrome out in front and Arrogate not far off the lead.
While Melatonin fought to stay with them in second place, he faded immediately at the top of the final stretch. California Chrome seemed well on his way to victory with a solid length separating him from Arrogate who burst from the clouds. The perfect season for California Chrome seemed well in hand, but Arrogate found another gear and throttled to the finish line in a pulse pounding finish that served to pass the torch from one champion to another.
With the win, Arrogate delivered $5.40, $2.80 and $2.60. California Chrome was worth $2.60 and $2.40 in second place. Keen Ice came through as a 20/1 longshot to steal third and paid out $5.40 to show.
Eventually the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic served as a fitting exclamation point to a weekend that was filled with wild upsets, thrilling finishes and memorable moments. Nobody will forget the sight of Arrogate’s incredible victory over a horse that seemed unbeatable during the 2016 campaign.