Gun Runner, Arrogate post final works for BC Classic

DEL MAR, Calif. -- Only hours before they were entered in the Breeders' Cup Classic and made the top two betting choices in their showdown for Horse of the Year on Saturday, Gun Runner and Arrogate turned in their final workouts for the race on Monday, with both appearing to come into the Classic as good as desired.

Gun Runner and Arrogate both had been training in recent weeks at Santa Anita, but Gun Runner came here to Del Mar late last week and turned in his final work at the track where the Classic will be run, going a half-mile by himself which Daily Racing Form timed in 49.62 seconds.

A little later in the morning, Arrogate worked at Santa Anita, going five furlongs -- from the half-mile pole to the seven-furlong pole -- in 1:00 after leaving his workmate at the finish line, a half-mile into the drill.

Gun Runner has shown he's aware a race is near. Scott Blasi, the assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, said he "just swelled up" in stature following a sharp workout at Santa Anita last week.

Monday's work "was perfect," Blasi said.

"He had a couple of good gallops here and his energy level is good," Blasi said. "I thought the work was beautiful. He's been so consistent all year."

Blasi said Gun Runner was scheduled to have a schooling session in the paddock on Thursday afternoon.

This will be the 10th track at which Gun Runner has competed.

"He seems to get over whatever we put him on," Blasi said. "I don't think that will make much difference."

Surface certainly is paramount among concerns for handicappers with Arrogate, who lost twice at Del Mar this summer. His trainer, Bob Baffert, insists his management of the horse, not the surface, is to blame. Arrogate has progressed well in recent weeks at Santa Anita, with workouts that are more in line with what he had during the height of his career from August 2016 through March 2017.

His work Monday "went nice," Baffert said. "Everything went great."

Baffert also worked Classic runner Mubtaahij. He went a half-mile in 49.80 seconds.

At Del Mar, Classic longshot Win the Space worked a half-mile in 49.60 seconds for trainer George Papaprodromou.