Preakness profiles: Gunnevera
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In our Preakness profiles, we look into each of Saturday’s Preakness contenders.
WHO IS GUNNEVERA?
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.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT GUNNEVERA
“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.”
WHY HE COULD WIN
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.
WHY HE COULD LOSE
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.
- 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