ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2017)—Reigning Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Arrogate worked a mile at 9:05 this morning in 1:38.40, and according to Bob Baffert, as long as he continues training this way, the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 25 will be the Champion’s next start.
“I love the way he went…I had him in 12.21, 24.30, 36.32, 48.29, 59.96, 1:12, 1:24.40, and 1:38 and two (fifths). He gets stronger the further he goes… So far, he’s handled everything well,” said Baffert, who watched the work with Arrogate’s regular rider, Mike Smith, from the Santa Anita box seat area this morning.
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Highly-respected private clocker Andy Harrington was transfixed by the work, which took place under overcast skies with the temperature at 54 degrees.
“He’s come back from Florida stronger,” said Harrington. “His last two drills have been terrific, off the charts. It doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. He’s come out of the Florida race fantastic.”
A swashbuckling winner of three consecutive Grade 1 stakes – the Travers at Saragota on Aug. 27, the Breeders’ Cup Classic here on Nov. 5, and the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28 – if Arrogate were to enter and run, he could be the best horse to grace the Big ’Cap since the legendary Spectacular Bid in 1980.
“We’ve had five Hall of Famers, John Henry, Alysheba, Best Pal, Tiznow and Lava Man, win the Big ’Cap since The Bid did it in 1980,” said Santa Anita Morning Line Maker Jon White. “At this point, considering what Arrogate has done in his last three races, I personally feel he might well be the best horse to run in the Big ’Cap since Spectacular Bid.”
A 4-year-old grey colt by Unbridled’s Song, out of the Distorted Humor mare Bubbler, Arrogate, who was purchased for $560,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in August, 2014, has won six of seven lifetime starts and has earnings of $11,084,600.
Second only to the late Charlie Whittingham, Baffert has trained the winners of five Big ’Caps, dating back to General Challenge in 2000 (the “Bald Eagle” amassed nine).
Santa Anita Park