Preakness profiles: Gunnevera

by | May 20, 2017 | Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, Racing, Top Stories, Triple Crown Trail

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Staff Reports

In our Preakness profiles, we look into each of Saturday’s Preakness contenders.


Gunnevera has danced every dance, and then some. The dirt-cheap son of Dialed In — he cost just $16,000 at auction — has earned over $1 million in his 10-race career, and he owns graded wins at three different race tracks. He won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth and sandwiched that with placings in the Grade 2 Holy Bull and Grade 1 Florida Derby. He was seventh after trip troubles in the Kentucky Derby.


“He’s as good, if not better than, the Derby,” said Larry Kelly, an advisor to trainer Antonio Sano, a former trainer himself and son of Hall of Fame trainer Tommy Kelly. “He came out of [the Derby] good. He was a little banged up like a lot of them, but it was all superficial. Mentally he’s done well. Physically, I think he’s blossomed.”


Gunnevera is a hard-hitting colt who has run a bunch of good races at a bunch of different tracks; the new surroundings shouldn’t faze him, and he’s shown the ability to compete at a high level. Jockey Javier Castellano jumps ship to Cloud Computing, but his replacement, Mike Smith, is a heady rider with a knack for bringing closers home. This runner is another who, with a clean trip and lively pace to run at, could make noise in the lane.


At this point other runners just seem faster; in his two meetings with Always Dreaming, he’s finished a combined total of nearly 20 lengths behind that rival. He’s a deep closer who seems unlikely to get sufficient pace to run at. He’s also had declining speed figures in each of his last two starts after recording a career-best 97 in winning the Fountain of Youth.


[FAG id=35081]

Gunnevera File

  • Trainer Antonio Sano
  • Owner Peacock Racing Stables LLC
  • Jockey Mike Smith
  • Bred in Kentucky by Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch
  • Breeding Dialed In-Unbridled Rage, by Unbridled
  • Record 10-4-2-1, earnings of $1,170,200
  • Career highlights Won G2 Holy Bull, G2 Saratoga Special, G3 Delta Downs Jackpot
  • Morning line odds 15-1