Gun Runner wins Breeders' Cup Classic

Del Mar (United States) (AFP) –


Gun Rnner won the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic in dominant style on Saturday, leading from wire-to-wire as defending champion Arrogate disappointed in his final race.

The 1 1/4-mile race on the dirt track at Del Mar -- hosting the $28 million Breeders' Cup extravaganza for the first time -- was billed as a final showdown between the Steve Asmussen-trained Gun Runner and Bob Baffert's Arrogate.

Arrogate, who sent California Chrome into retirement with a defeat in last year's Classic at Santa Anita, chased down Gun Runner for a thrilling win in the Dubai World Cup in March.

But he had been unimpressive since, in fourth place and runner-up finishes in Del Mar, and he was never really in the hunt in a race that saw Gun Runner, with jockey Florent Geroux aboard, spring from the fifth stall and power to a fourth straight victory -- all Grade One stakes.

"He's just a beast," Geroux said of Gun Runner, who finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Baffert's Collected, with the Baffert-trained West Coast third.

War Story was fourth, and Arrogate, who broke awkwardly toward the rail from the first stall, was in a dead heat for fifth with Gunnevera.