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Gunnevera comes up huge in Grade 2 Saratoga Special
RSS Feeds Sunday, August 14, 2016 | Posted to: Dialed In
Gunnevera's furious stretch rally carried the 2-year-old Dialed In colt from last to first in the $200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) and at the same time moved his sire to the top of the standings on the 2016 First-Crop Sire list.

Dialed In's five winners include Princess Margaret S. winner Ruffenuff. With Gunnevera's win on Sunday, Dialed In's progeny earnings of $314,363 leads all freshman sires.

With just five horses going postward, Gunnevera was in no hurry out of the gate, and let his four competitors lock up in a battle that saw the quartet zip through the first quarter-mile in :21.69. Gunnevera didn't enter the picture until there was a little more than a quarter-mile to go, when he came rolling up on the outside to go five-wide coming into the stretch. 

After passing the bulk of the field, he set his sights on Recruiting Ready, who had spurted clear by four lengths with a furlong to run. Despite the margin, Gunnevera kept closing in and sped past the leader in deep stretch to win by a length in 1:17 flat for the 6 1/2-furlongs.

“I liked the race but I told [ jockey Javier] Castellano, ‘He (takes his time at the start), but the last three furlongs are strong,'” trainer Antonio Sano said. “I liked this horse at a longer distance. We'll see you September 5th here [for the Grade 1, $350,000 Hopeful S.].” 

Gunnevera, who broke his maiden July 16th Gulfstream Park, is now 2-1-0 in four starts and has earned $156,000. The chestnut colt was bred in Kentucky by Brandywine Farm and Stephen Upchurch.