Tenfold's camp 'looking for a home run' in Pegasus World Cup

Photograph: NYRA

When proprietor Ron Winchell and Corridor of Reputation teacher Steve Asmussen got here to the Pegasus International Cup (G1) two years in the past, they had been armed with reigning Breeders’ Cup Vintage (G1) winner and Horse of the 12 months Gun Runner. It’s a miles other state of affairs this yr once they run Tenfold, who has flashed indicators of being a most sensible horse intertwined amongst respectable efforts and a few clunkers.

Whilst the Pegasus capped an enormous profession that noticed Gun Runner earn $15,888,550, together with six Grade 1 victories in his 12-for-19 report, Tenfold’s camp hopes Saturday’s $Three million Pegasus supplies a leap forward victory going ahead for the 5-year-old horse and $968,390-earner, whose report up to now is four for 15.

“Gun Runner was once pointed for that once he crossed the end line within the Breeders’ Cup Vintage,” David Fiske, the Winchell circle of relatives’s long-time farm and racing supervisor, mentioned of the Pegasus. “That was once the function, the objective, his swan tune. It was once bittersweet, emotional, retiring him to stud after that race. Tenfold, I don’t wish to say he’s an afterthought. We had been eager about it previous closing yr when he received the Pimlico Particular (G3), then he didn’t pass on precisely as we’d was hoping and we figured he wouldn’t get an invitation — after which he did. There was once not anything in point of fact on his dance card, so why no longer? 

“Each now and again he presentations an effort that encourages us. We’ve no longer had many horses each as encouraging and as inconsistent as him.”

Whilst acknowledging an impressive favourite in Omaha Seashore, Tenfold’s group believes their horse suits in with the remainder of the sphere. They’re hoping for an effort akin to when Tenfold received closing Would possibly’s Pimlico Particular and as a 3-year-old when he received Saratoga’s Jim Dandy (G2) over 2019 Breeders’ Cup Vintage winner Vino Rosso, or when he was once 1/3 by means of a complete of three-quarters a duration at the back of Triple Crown winner Justify within the 2018 Preakness Stakes (G1).

“An opportunistic spot, mainly is what it’s,” Winchell mentioned of rerouting Tenfold to the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, “in response to who’s going and his talent to run within the cash, is what we’re hoping for. Clearly there’s a large favourite, however you don’t run clear of one horse.

“It’s been slightly irritating from the viewpoint that he runs a excellent race and you are expecting him to step up. He more or less runs his race right here and there. We’re hoping the right here and there may be Gulfstream. We’ll see. Now we have but to search out the important thing.”

The exquisitely-bred Tenfold is a son of the Asmussen-trained two-time Horse of the 12 months Curlin and out of a mare by means of Winchell’s super-stallion Tapit.

“Clearly we had prime hopes for him early, particularly when he ran 1/3 within the Preakness,” Winchell mentioned. “He put all of it in combination when he received the Jim Dandy. We idea, ‘That is nice. He’s again on course.’ He’s been hit or miss from there. We’re on the lookout for the hit right here — nicely no longer a success, we’re on the lookout for a house run.”

Unraced at 2, Tenfold received his first two begins at Three ahead of a 5th within the Arkansas Derby (G1) landed him within the Preakness relatively than Derby. Tenfold just about disillusioned Derby winner Justify that day in heavy fog – and foggy form of sums up his in-and-out profession since: 5th within the Belmont (G1), Jim Dandy win, 7th within the Travers (G1). 7th in closing yr’s Oaklawn Handicap (G2), Pimlico Particular win, then a well-beaten 9th, fourth, 6th and 8th in graded stakes.

Tenfold were given two months off, with Asmussen starting up the blinkers applied for 6 races when the pony resumed racing Dec. 21 with a detailed fourth in a Truthful Grounds allowance race at a mile and 70 yards. Following a sequence of adjustments that began with Irad Ortiz Jr. opting to trip Mucho Gusto over Spun to Run, Tyler Gaffalione has picked up the Pegasus mount on Tenfold.

“On his perfect day, he’s clearly in a position to superb issues,” Asmussen mentioned. “However he has no longer been as constant as we’d have was hoping and don’t really feel he’s totally taken benefit of all of the possibilities he’s been given. However he’s additionally a horse that’s an especially excellent ‘doer,’ an excessively sound horse that’s doing in point of fact nicely presently. With the invitation to the Pegasus in an excessively large open yr, with the exception of in all probability one horse, right here we pass.”

If Tenfold is maddening, give Asmussen a barnful of such horses.

“Yeah, it’s extraordinarily irritating that he’s so as regards to 1,000,000 greenbacks,” Asmussen joked with fun.

Nevertheless it additionally drives house how uncommon constantly superb horses akin to Gun Runner are. Co-owned by means of Winchell and 3 Chimneys Farm, Gun Runner received his closing 5 races, all in Grade 1 stakes, with the Pegasus making him the third-biggest money-earner in Thoroughbred racing historical past.

“For those who had a Gun Runner yearly, Gun Runner wouldn’t be who he’s,” Asmussen mentioned. “That elite of a degree of ability is so particular as it doesn’t come alongside always. Very gratifying horse with that uncommon mixture of talent, psychological, intelligence, nice bodily specimen, He had all of it. He began out an excellent horse and ended up one of the vital all-time greats.

“He had an improbable thoughts to grasp the place he was once at, to take his classes and transfer ahead. Pedigree-wise, he persisted to turn out to be sooner and bodily he was once very best. He walked into the breeding shed as sound as he walked into the barn as a 2-year-old. What a unique horse. His closing 4 or 5 runs had been ‘I dare you’ sort races, finishing his profession with this sort of pinnacle. His Breeders’ Cup Vintage at Del Mar, to take no possibilities and simply take all of the operating to them, with the ones more or less fractions and the way the monitor was once enjoying that week. Then to be showcased (at 3 Chimneys) for his stallion season, after which return into coaching and, oh,  by means of the way in which, we’ll win the arena’s richest horse race from the 11 hollow at Gulfstream – and to win like that.”

A large week for Asmussen may just get even larger. Remaining Saturday on the Truthful Grounds, he joined Todd Pletcher and D. Wayne Lukas as the one running shoes to reach 1,00Zero stakes victories as Winchell’s Finite received the Silverbulletday. With Thursday’s Eclipse Award Dinner at Gulfstream Park, he’s most likely so as to add two extra champions to his resume, with Breeders’ Cup Dash (G1) and Metropolitan Mile (G1) winner Mitole the overpowering favourite to be topped remarkable sprinter whilst additionally a finalist for older male and Horse of the 12 months. Although she was once disillusioned within the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Nighttime Bisou is predicted to be feted as champion older filly, with Asmussen additionally a finalist for North The usa’s remarkable teacher.

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