(YouTube Video of Gun Runner’s work this morning / Courtesy of Gulfstream Park)

Gun Runner has done about everything that Hall of Fame trainer, and his able assistant Scott Blasi, have asked of him over the past year. Monday morning was no different.

In his last work before this Saturday’s $16 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational and his last serious workout of his career before he heads off to stallion duty at Three Chimney’s Farm near Midway, Kentucky on Sunday, Gun Runner was…well, Gun Runner.

He was perfect. He breezed a half mile in :49 at Gulfstream Park. And, he was declared ready, fit, willing and able for the last race of his brilliant career.

Gun Runner, co-owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm, will be the morning line favorite in the Pegasus World Cup, the world’s richest race. He brings a four-race winning streak, all in Grade 1 races, into the 1 1/8 race at Gulfstream Park.

With exercise rider Angel Garcia aboard on a track closed for his workout at 7:30 a.m., the 5-year-old son of Candy Ride worked from the half-mile pole to the finish line. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.11.

“I loved how he did it,” said Scott Blasi, chief assistant to trainer Steve Asumssen. “Angel was really happy with him and said, ‘I never asked him to do anything.'”

Gun Runner won the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar Racetrack on Nov. 4 and has been training for the Pegasus World Cup at Fair Grounds in New Orleans. He shipped to Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18 and, following Asmussen’s playbook, had his final breeze over the track he will compete on. Blasi said that Gun Runner handled the shipping to South Florida and the new surface without incident. 

“He’s just been really special to us and he continues to do exactly what you want him to do,” Blasi said. “It’s kind of unheard of over a three-year career. I’m just really happy with how he got over the ground. He’s cooling out great and is ready for Saturday.” 

Ever since he lost to Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup nearly a year ago, Gun Runner has been spectacular both in the mornings and the afternoons. He has done his work according to plan. And, he has worked his races to perfection.

On Monday, it appeared that he was just galloping along into the breeze. It turned out, he was just breezing along into a nice work.

Nice and easy. Smooth and deliberate. Fresh and brilliant.

“That’s just kind of Gun Runner. He just does stuff so effortlessly,” Blasi said. “You think that he’s not going anywhere, then you look down at your watch and you’re like ‘Wow.’ Especially this year he has gotten stronger and faster. There’s just a lot more to him. We couldn’t be happier with him.”

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has a big week ahead.

On Thursday, Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner – whom Asmussen has saddled to 11 victories and $8.9 million in earnings – is expected to be named Horse of the Year at the 47th Eclipse Awards at Gulfstream Park. Two days later, Gun Runner will close out his career as the favorite in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).

“We’re looking forward to our run in the Pegasus,” Asmussen said. “Hopefully, we’ll be Horse of the Year on Thursday and a chance to prove it on Saturday.”

Steve Asmussen Interview:

(Interview with trainer Steve Asmussen / Courtesy of Gulfstream Park)

Gun Runner comes into the Pegasus off four consecutive victories, his last in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 4 at Del Mar. The four horses who finished behind Gun Runner in the Classic – Collected, West Coast, War Story and Gunnevera – will try him again in the Pegasus.

“We realize Gun Runner has put us in this position and how fortunate we are to be associated with him,” Asmussen said.