DEL MAR, Calif. — Gun Runner, the top older horse on the East Coast, is the slight 9/5 favorite for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday at Del Mar.
He breaks from the No. 5 post while defending champion Arrogate starts from the rail as the 2-1 second choice.
Del Mar is hosting the $28 million, 13-race Breeders’ Cup for the first time. The season-ending championships open with four races on Friday followed by nine, including the Classic, on Saturday.
Gun Runner arrives on a three-race winning streak, all Grade 1 stakes, for trainer Steve Asmussen. The 4-year-old posted dominant victories in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs and the Whitney and Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. His last defeat was to Arrogate in Dubai.
Arrogate, the world’s all-time leading money earner with $17.3 million, is one of four Classic runners trained by Bob Baffert. He also sends out Collected (6-1), Mubtaahij (12-1) and Travers winner West Coast (6-1) in the Classic, the richest race of the weekend.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Penny Chenery, who owned Triple Crown winner Secretariat, will be presented posthumously with the Big Sport of Turfdom award given to a person who enhances coverage of thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and racing publicists.
The Turf Publicists of America said Monday that Chenery will receive the award for the second time. She was the winner in 1973, when Secretariat swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
Chenery died Sept. 16 at age 95. For years after Secretariat’s Triple Crown win, she was a careful steward of the colt’s legacy.
The award will be presented to Chenery’s daughter, Kate Tweedy, at the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program’s luncheon on Dec. 5 in Tucson.
Chenery joins two-time winners jockey Laffit Pincay Jr., and trainers Bob Baffert and Carl Nafzger.
MELBOURNE, Australia — Rekindling stormed home to win the Melbourne Cup by a long neck on Tuesday, overhauling Johannes Vermeer near the finish to give trainer Joseph O’Brien a victory over his famous father in Australia’s most famous race.
Max Dynamite was 2 + lengths further back in third to give the Irish a 1-2-3 finish in the 157th running of the 2-mile classic .
Joseph O’Brien said one of the first things he did was phone his father, Aidan O’Brien, who trains Johannes Vermeer but was not at Flemington for the race.
“He is delighted. Unbelievable,” the younger O’Brien said. “I’m just so thankful to (Williams). They suggested to bring (Rekindling) down and that he’d have a good chance in the race and his prep went really good, and Corey gave him an unbelievable ride.”
It was a second Melbourne Cup victory for jockey Corey Brown, and a sixth for owner Lloyd Williams, who is also a co-owner of Johannes Vermeer.
“It’s extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary,” Williams said of Joseph O’Brien, who won in his first attempt at the Melbourne Cup. Williams said the 24-year-old former jockey had a big future as a trainer. “He’s going to emulate his father and maybe more.”
Big Duke was the first Australian-trained horse across the line, finishing fourth, in a field containing 11 foreign horses.
British-based jockey Frankie Dettori rode 2016 winner Almandin, which finished 12th.