Pegasus World Cup Contenders and Post Positions
By Ed McNamara
Here’s a horse who’s come a long way in a short time. Spun to Run was virtually unknown last spring, and now he’s the 7-2 second choice in a $3 million race, the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
He didn’t win until his fifth start and didn’t face top 3-year-olds until he ran a distant third to Maximum Security at odds of 34-1 in the Haskell (G1). Won a weak Grade 3 at Parx before finishing fifth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1).
Spun to Run has been surging since. He crushed an ungraded mile stakes at Parx before emerging as a serious horse in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita. The 9-1 shot led throughout and beat odds-on Omaha Beach by 2¾ lengths. He ran big again in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct, pushing Maximum Security hard and finishing second by 3½ lengths.
He breezed 4 furlongs in 47.41 seconds at Palm Meadows on Tuesday, four days after superstar Irad Ortiz, Jr. jumped off him to ride Mucho Gusto for Bob Baffert in the Pegasus.
Perhaps Ortiz is trying to establish a long-term connection with a Hall of Famer who could put him on other top stakes mounts.
“I said to myself everything is perfect going into this race,” Guerrero said. “Then I get the call from Irad telling me he was going to take off Spun to Run to ride Mucho Gusto. Needless to say, it was both surprising and upsetting.”
Guerrero won’t lose anything with his replacement, Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, a four-time Eclipse Award winner.
Spun to Run
Post position: No. 9
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Juan Carlos Guerrero
Owner: Robert P. Donaldson
Career record: 12-5-2-3
Career earnings: $1,160,520
Pedigree: Hard Spun-Yawkey Way, by Grand Slam
Running style: Speed/stalker
“Quality speed makes him dangerous, but don’t expect him to go wire to wire as he did in the Dirt Mile. Price of 7-2 also seems low. (Favorite) Omaha Beach will sit closer and should go past him this time.” – Ed McNamara
“Looms a legitimate alternative to Omaha Beach after defeating him in BC Dirt Mile … strong Pegasus win contender.’’ — Noel Michaels
Notes: Guerrero, born in Mexico City, came to the United States when he was 14. He lied about his age so he could work at the old Garden State Park, where he was a groom and exercise rider … He’s a high-percentage, low-profile trainer based at Parx, near Philadelphia. Spun to Run is his first graded-stakes winner in a career that began in 1991, and Guerrero’s lifetime win rate is an outstanding 20 percent. Last year was one of his best – 51-for-258 (20 percent) – with earnings of $2.4 million … Owner Donaldson on why he hired Guerrero: “I knew he was doing really well at Parx, and I know that Carlos can read a horse and really get inside their head.”
|1||True Timber||Joe Bravo||Kiaran McLaughlin||20-1|
|2||Tax||Jose Ortiz||Danny Gargan||12-1|
|3||Diamond Oops||Julien Leparoux||Patrick Biancone||20-1|
|4||Seeking the Soul||John Velazquez||Dallas Stewart||30-1|
|5||Omaha Beach||Mike Smith||Richard Mandella||7-5|
|6||Higher Power||Flavien Prat||John Sadler||6-1|
|7||War Story||Joel Rosario||Elizabeth Dobles||30-1|
|8||Mr Freeze||Luis Saez||Dale Romans||30-1|
|9||Spun to Run||Javier Castellano||Juan Carlos Guerrero||7-2|
|10||Mucho Gusto||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Bob Baffert||9-2|
|11||Tenfold||Tyler Gaffalione||Steve Asmussen||30-1|
|12||Bodexpress||Emisael Jaramillo||Gustavo Delgado||30-1|