Gun Runner wins 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic

Getty for SI

"You need to let Gun Runner be Gun Runner". All week, he knew he had the horse to beat in the Breeders' Cup Classic and Gun Runner justified that confidence in emphatic style.

"It went well, we had a good draw but it went smoothly because he has the talent to do that". "I think he's better today than he's ever been".

"He's an absolute superstar, a wonderful horse to us and the Godolphin team". "I think he will be able to run his race". He answered that question brilliantly in finishing with a time of 2:01.29.

And where was Arrogate (2-1)?

Arrogate finished in a dead heat for fifth with Gunnevera. "I tried to talk myself into thinking he would".

"I had a lot of faith in both horses, they show up every time", Miller said.

Ribchester was fifth and Fahey said of the four-time Group One victor, who now heads for retirement: "Horses like this don't come along very often, he's been a wonderful racehorse and this was the place to bring him for his last run". "He's like a pitcher who can't find the plate". The reward was greater than the risk to run. When he broke, he broke flat-footed and broke in, and he weaved in. "I don't know what happened to him".

Arrogate, who won the Dubai World Cup and the initial Pegasus World Cup this season, struggled to end the year and his career. Then again, so was Gun Runner, passing Arrogate in the opposite direction by winning Stephen Foster, the Whitney and the Woodward by an average of more than seven lengths. The race shaped up the way we thought it would.

Good Magic chose the biggest juvenile race in the U.S. to break his maiden tag as he stormed to victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Del Mar. "We just went on and the best horse won the race". The total rose previous year to $128.1 million, an increase of 1.7 percent. The all-sources handle for both days was $166,077,486, up almost 6 percent. The winners of the first eight Breeders' Cup races on Saturday, in order, paid $36.60, $62.40, $135.40, $24.40, $11.80, $7.40, $25, and $30.20.

Longshot Battle of Midway prevailed by a half-length after dueling with Sharp Azteca through the stretch in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

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Stellar Wind lost by a neck in her first try in the Distaff in 2015. "He's been a great servant, he's won a million pounds and you can't complain about that".

Defending champion and co-favorite Arrogate was never a factor, breaking poorly from his gate position next to the rail. Chad Brown trained Good Magic to a 4¼-length victory over Baffert-trained Solomini (9-1) with Bolt d'Oro finishing another length behind in third.

"We could tell he was still a little bit green, but he was learning and getting better all the time", O'Brien. "But we don't want to make any excuses. This horse doesn't owe us anything". "That's all there was to it".

It was the first Breeders' Cup Classic win for trainer Steve Asmussen since Curlin won in 2007.

What may have been the final race for Lady Eli (3-2) ended in disappointment.

Betting on the late pick four on Saturday was $5.16 million, up 12.7 percent over the late pick four past year.

As Sands Of Mali's stamina began to ebb away in the straight, Moore kicked on and Mendelssohn ran out a ready victor from Untamed Domain and Voting Control.

This was the third year in a row that betting on the Breeders' Cup races rose. Defending victor Highland Reel (7-5) finished another neck behind in third. Pre-race favorite Ulysses was scratched Saturday morning due to a swollen fetlock. The victory meant that European horses split the grass races 3-3 with North Americans. Stormy Liberal paid $62.40 to win, Richard's Boy $13 to place. Disco Partner (5-1) finished third. Last year, the announced Saturday attendance was 72,811, without a cap. Jockey Joel Rosario was on board Stormy Liberal for the first time, giving him a sweet victory after he was sacked from what turned out to be Friday's ride on Distaff victor Forever Unbridled.

Now a seven-time graded-stakes victor, World Approval (5-2) took charge in the stretch and won the $2 million Mile on the turf. The Miller exacta returned $277.50 for a $1 bet. Ridden by Florent Geroux, the 4-year-old chestnut not only ran away with the Classic, but the title of Horse of the Year. "It's about winning, but he'll make a fantastic stallion". Caledonia Road (17-1) closed for a neck win over Alluring Star (8-1) in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies. Hollendorfer now has three career Cup victories.

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