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Gunnevera Derby Contender - Possible Derby Runner

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Gunnevera – Possible 143 Kentucky Derby Contender

The 143 Kentucky Derby is restricted to only 20 Kentucky Derby runners and will run on Saturday, May 6, 2017, for the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Here is the latest look at Gunnevera, one of the contenders for the 2017 Kentucky Derby to be run at Churchill Downs.

Gunnevera Kentucky Derby Bio

Owner: Peacock Racing Stables LLC

Trainer: Antonio Sano

Pedigree: Dialed In – Unbridled Rage by Unbridled

Last Race Result: 3rd Place, Florida Derby, 4/1/17

Gunnevera Career Statistics

Starts: 9

Wins: 4

Places: 2

Shows: 1

Earnings: $1,170,200

Gunnevera Kentucky Derby Odds

Had Gunnevera won the Florida Derby, he would be the undisputed favorite to win the Kentucky Derby as we speak. Instead, he was a dismal third behind a couple relative unknown horses. He's still one of the chalks at +700, but that doesn't mean he won't ultimately be a favorite when push comes to shove. The cream generally rises to the top by the end of the Road to the Kentucky Derby, and though Gunnevera finished with just 20 points at the Florida Derby, he's got 62 in totality and would have been in the field even if he didn't run in the last of the Gulfstream Park races of the year.

Gunnevera Kentucky Derby Analysis

Gunnevera is a big time closer, and that should play into his hands in a field that is shaping up to be both relatively weak and relatively fast out of the gates. There are a heck of a lot of stalkers and frontrunners, and that should suit him well. In the Fountain of Youth Stakes, Gunnevera got a respectable start and was clear at the back of the pack where he wanted to be. His coast stayed clear throughout, and though he had to run a little bit longer of a race on the far outside, he romped to an easy win when push came to shove.

The difference between the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby was really the start. Gunnevera didn't get a good break at all from a far outside post, and he was probably a lot farther back than Javier Castellano would have wanted. It took a little more energy to keep up in the beginning stages of the race, and though Gunnevera was the best horse at the end, there wasn't enough time for him to get all the way to the top.

The bad start against a small field at the Florida Derby is a bit concerning. This field is double in size of that one, and though Gunnevera will do nothing but drop straight back, just how far back is he going to have to be in order to be clear and not get dirt in his face? One false move or one horse boxing him in just a bit in his march up the leaderboard, and Gunnevera will have a good shot to not even remotely contend.

The other big concern if you're betting on Gunnevera is that trainer Antonio Sano is just a local trainer and has never been on this big of a stage before with a horse. The Kentucky Derby isn't always about the biggest trainers, but generally speaking, the unknowns don't end up finding the winners circle.

On the bright side of things though, Gunnevera has consistently been incredibly fast. He's had a few really good training sessions under his belt in the lead up to his Spring races, and his 102 Beyer Speed Rating in the Fountain of Youth was one of the better a colt has run to this point in this seemingly relatively weak three-year old class.

The other big setback involving Gunnevera came in the Breeders' Cup Futurity when he finished fifth best and never factored. He's only been a huge favorite twice in his career, first in a maiden race, then again in the Florida Derby, and the fact that he failed in the latter is a concern. Is he good enough to win the Kentucky Derby? Probably. But is his price going to end up warranting playing him to win? Maybe not so much.

With a maximum of 20 horses accepted into the Kentucky Derby field, there is a significant vetting process to qualify the horses among this group of three-year olds. A points system is in place to reward winners and other top finishers of the main races leading into the Derby. The Top 20 horses will get the first opportunity to run in the Kentucky Derby, though as horses bow out of the process, the next ones in the standings are given their chances until the field of 20 is set.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby wraps up the second week of April, thus ending a grueling stretch of eight months of qualifying for the top colts in the world. The field won't be finalized until the Kentucky Derby post draw on Wednesday, May 3.

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Kentucky Derby 143 Entries:

Below are some of the contenders that will possibly run the day of the race. There are 20 Derby Contenders for the race but these are the most likely ones will be confirmed a place at the event.

Possible 2017 Kentucky Derby Contenders:

Rank Horse Points Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings Graded Stakes Earnings Breeder Trainer Owner
1 Girvin 150 $840,000 $840,000 Bob Austin & John Witte Joe Sharp Brad Grady
2 Gormley 125 $884,000 $884,000 Castleton Lyons & Kilboy Estate John Shirreffs Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.
3 Irish War Cry 110 $676,660 $616,660 Isabelle de Tomaso H. Motion Isabelle de Tomaso
4 Irap 108 $760,000 $738,000 Aaron & Marie Jones Doug O'Neill Reddam Racing LLC
5 Always Dreaming 100 $589,000 $589,000 Santa Rosa Partners Todd Pletcher St Elias, Teresa Viola Racing Stables, Brooklyn Boys, MEB Stables
6 Gunnevera 84 $1,137,800 $1,134,200 Brandywine Farm & Stephen Upchurch Antonio Sano Peacock Racing Stables, LLC
7 Practical Joke 74 $966,000 $966,000 Whispering Oaks Chad Brown Klaravich Stables, Inc. and Lawrence, William H.
8 J Boys Echo 63 $305,000 $305,000 Betz, Blackburn, J. Betz, Ramsby, CNHHNK Dale Romans Albaugh Family Stables LLC
9 State of Honor 62 $310,364 $280,000 Manfred Conrad & Penny Conrad Mark Casse Conrad Farms
10 Mastery 60 $480,000 $480,000 Stone Farm Bob Baffert Cheyenne Stables LLC
11 Tapwrit 54 $325,570 $280,000 My Meadowview LLC Todd Pletcher Bridlewood Farm, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and LaPenta, Robert V.
12 Epicharis (JPN) 50 $753,381 $400,000 Masatsugu Kamada Kiyoshi Hagiwara Carrot Farm
13 Malagacy 50 $540,000 $540,000 John Trumbulovic Todd Pletcher Sumaya U.S. Stable
14 McCraken 40 $385,048 $335,320 Whitham Thoroughbreds, LLC Ian Wilkes Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC
15 Battle of Midway 40 $224,000 $224,000 Thor-Bred Stables, LLC Jerry Hollendorfer Fox Hill Farms, Inc.
16 Patch 40 $200,000 $200,000 Calumet Farm Todd Pletcher Calumet Farm
17 Battalion Runner 40 $140,000 $140,000 Dell Ridge Farm, LLC Todd Pletcher St. Elias Stable
18 Cloud Computing 40 $135,000 $135,000 Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, Inc & Stretch Run Ventures, LLC Chad Brown Klaravich Stables, Inc. and Lawrence, William H.
19 Mont Saint Legame (JPN) 40 $0 $0 Kawashima Bokujo Koji Maki Shinichi Yamashita
20 Untrapped 34 $210,000 $210,000 Indian Creek & Jonathan Sheppard Steven Asmussen Michael Langford
21 Classic Empire 32 $1,493,820 $1,493,820 Steven Nicholson & Brandi Nicholson Mark Casse John C. Oxley
22 El Areeb 30 $330,000 $270,000 Dixiana Farms LLC Cathal Lynch M M G Stables, LLC
23 Royal Mo 30 $213,000 $213,000 Brandywine Farm John Shirreffs Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.
24 Local Hero 30 $140,000 $140,000 Three Chimneys Farm LLC Steven Asmussen e Five Racing Thoroughbreds

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