By Mike Willman —-
IN FINAL DRILL FOR $12 PEGASUS WORLD CUP INVITATIONAL, BAFFERT’S ARROGATE GOES SIX FURLONGS IN 1:12.13; BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC CHAMP HANDLES ‘WET-FAST’ SURFACE WITH APLOMB, WILL FLY TO FLORIDA TUESDAY
STAGE SET FOR EPIC REMATCH WITH LEGENDARY CALIFORNIA CHROME AT GULFSTREAM PARK
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 21, 2017)—In his final work in preparation for next Saturday’s $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park and an epic rematch with legendary California Chrome, Bob Baffert’s Santa Anita-based Arrogate went an easy six furlongs in 1:12.13 prior to today’s first race at about 11:45 a.m. Santa Anita Timer Dane Nelson had Arrogate through splits of 24.82 (while well off the rail), 48.87 and 1:01.02. Nelson had the grey or roan colt by Unbridled’s Song galloping out seven furlongs in 1:24.37 and a mile in 1:38.32—on a main track that was listed by Track Superintendent Dennis Moore as “wet-fast.”
As he has done the past two weekends, Arrogate, idle since defeating California Chrome by a half length in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic here on Nov. 5, entered Santa Anita’s main track via the quarter mile chute and galloped straight off through the stretch under jockey Martin Garcia.
With Baffert, wife Jill and longtime friend George Jacobs, who is the owner of workmate Uninvited, watching the drill from a private suite atop the track’s box seat area, Arrogate was set down for business coming to the three quarter pole, about 10 links behind Uninvited. He then closed the gap to about four lengths at the quarter pole, prevailing by a measured neck at the wire as Garcia stayed down into the Club House turn.
“What a relief that was,” said Baffert. “I’ve been on pins and needles watching this severe weather pattern. If I’d known we were going to get this much rain, I might’ve gone to Florida for his last work. I love the way he’s training…Last time (Jan. 15), he went a little too quick (early). Today, Martin went off slow with him and he just kept him underneath him.
“He’s fit but we have to wait another week and we’ll need some racing luck. Dennis Moore’s done a great job with this track and I couldn’t be happier. He’ll leave early Tuesday.”
According to Baffert, Arrogate is scheduled to be flown early Tuesday morning to south Florida, where he’ll then be vanned to Gulfstream.
Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Arrogate, who was also a record setting winner of the prestigious Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga two starts back on Aug. 27, has five wins from six starts and has earnings of $4,084,600. He’ll be ridden for the third consecutive time next Saturday by Mike Smith.
For more information on next Saturday’s $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational and to make Pegasus seating and dining reservations at Santa Anita, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Cover Photo: Arrogate; Benoit