Gun Runner progressing toward Pegasus World Cup

He was still wearing his Breeders' Cup Classic morning training saddle towel on the track at 6:30 a.m. last Friday at Fair Grounds, but by now Gun Runner's connections have earned the right to train him in a Hawaiian grass skirt if they so choose.

The 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic winner has taken up residence again in trainer Steve Asmussen's barn at Fair Grounds, the same place he began a 2017 campaign that's likely to earn Gun Runner a Horse of the Year award. Gun Runner also wintered at Fair Grounds during the 2015-16 season, winning the Risen Star Stakes and the Louisiana Derby, but he is in the waning weeks of residing on any racetrack.

Gun Runner will start in the Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park, and after that he will be let down from racing condition and go off to stud at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky. And if Gun Runner continues thriving like he is right now in New Orleans, he is very, very likely to go out a winner.

"How does he look? He looks like the Horse of the Year," trainer Steve Asmussen said.

Gun Runner, who regained all his pre-Breeders' Cup weight plus a few more pounds, has progressed form jogging to galloping during the last week. Asmussen said he has yet to pin down a precise work schedule to get Gun Runner to the Pegasus. Asmussen said Gun Runner would ship from Fair Grounds to Gulfstream about 10 days before his race and would get in one breeze over the Gulfstream surface. Enjoy it if you have the chance - it will be the last of this wonderful colt's career.