Gunnevera and Sharp Azteca took their first steps toward the Dubai World Cup this past weekend, working easy half-miles at Gulfstream Park West.
Gunnevera was timed in 50.83 seconds breezing Saturday, while Sharp Azteca covered the same distance in 49.60 the following morning.
The work was the first for Gunnevera since his third-place finish in the Pegasus World Cup. Gunnevera was scheduled to undergo surgery to remove an undescended testicle subsequent to his last start, but did not need the procedure, according to trainer Antonio Sano.
"The vet was able to go in and bring the testicle back down to its proper spot, so no surgery was necessary," Sano said.
Trainer Jorge Navarro said Sharp Azteca, who finished a disappointing eighth in the Pegasus World Cup, will pick up the pace gradually in the morning prior to departing for Dubai on March 20.Sharp Azteca is pointing for the Godolphin Mile.
"He'll do all his main work here, although I'd like to give him one work or at least a good two-minute gallop over the course after we get over there," Navarro said.
Sharp Azteca is one of two horses Navarro will take to Dubai. His X Y Jet will be among the favorites in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, a race he finished second in two years ago. X Y Jet prepped for the assignment with an easy victory in Satuday's Pelican Stakes Tampa Bay Downs.
"He came out of the race very well," Navarro said. "Coming off three surgeries, he'll probably have only a couple of easy works here before he ships to Dubai."