Saturday’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar was supposed to be all about redemption for Arrogate, the world’s number one-ranked horse, but it was his stablemate, Collected, stealing the show. Bob Baffert had the one-two finishers of the Pacific Classic, but judging by his reaction, I don’t think that he liked the order in which they finished. His “big horse” once again didn’t look like himself, while his “other horse” cruised to victory in wire-to-wire fashion. Was it enough for Collected to earn our number one star? Well, yeah, of course it was! Let’s check out Collected and our other stars of the week.
Anytime a heavy favorite goes down, the winner of the race doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. That’s the case with Collected, who ran a career-best race in the Pacific Classic to defeat Arrogate. Trainer Bob Baffert wanted to experiment with Collected in this spot as a way to decide whether to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or the Breeders’ Cup Classic. I think Baffert got his answer! Collected loves Del Mar and is Breeders’ Cup Classic-bound. If he can hold his current form, he will be a considerable factor in that race.
There’s little doubt in my mind that this horse is currently the best 3-year-old filly in the country. I wouldn’t rank her ahead of Abel Tasman in the rankings, but if we’re talking about current form, then I think that she is doing the best. Two races back, she probably would have beaten Abel Tasman if not for a great ride by Mike Smith, and this past Saturday, she dominated a very tough field in the Grade 1 Alabama. This filly has finally gotten into solid form and is living up to the hype.
He’s gotten hot at the right time and is making every race count! Hunt now has two Grade 2 victories in a row, and his win in the Del Mar Mile on Saturday punched his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf at the end of the year. His two wins have been similar: he was able to stalk the pace and kick into gear just enough down the stretch to hold off his competition and pick up the win. You’d think that he’ll have one more prep race before taking on the top horses at the Breeders’ Cup.