Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Like Ted Williams homering at Fenway Park in his final turn at bat, horse racing's career earnings leader can go out on top.
Arrogate, defending champion in the Breeders' Cup Classic, will make the last start of his career in the 2017 Classic Nov. 4 at Del Mar in Southern California, it was announced Tuesday. He will stand at Juddmonte U.S. near Lexington, Ky., with a fee to be released at a later date, said owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms.
The statement about Arrogate's future came after the 4-year-old colt worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 1-5 Tuesday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Arrogate won the 2016 Classic at Santa Anita in a stretch duel with two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome. For that and winning the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga in track-record time, the Unbridled's Song colt was named male 3-year-old champion at the Eclipse Awards ceremony in January. He later defeated California Chrome a second time in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup at Florida's Gulfstream Park and won the Dubai World Cup with a spectacular last-to-first rally.
The latter performance prompted Bob Baffert, the colt's Hall of Fame trainer, to say, "That's the greatest horse I've ever seen run."
Arrogate comes into the Classic, however, after back-to-back defeats at Del Mar, playing host to the Breeders' Cup for the first time. He finished second to stablemate Collected in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic Aug. 19 and fourth in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap July 19 (won by Accelerate).
Purchased by Juddmonte for $560,000 at the September 2014 Keeneland yearling sale, Arrogate has earned $17,302,600. His dam is the Distorted Humor mare Bubbler.
Baffert has won the Classic three years in a row, each time with a 3-year-old -- Bayern in 2014 and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015. Besides Arrogate, Baffert is pointing 3-year-old West Coast, 4-year-old Collected and 5-year-old Mubtaahij to the Classic, all coming off Grade 1 stakes wins.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith keeps the mount on Arrogate and newly elected Hall of Famer Javier Castellano rides West Coast in the Classic.
* Smith, hoping to add to his Breeders' Cup-record 25 victories, has the mount on several strong contenders in the Nov. 3 and 4 races at Del Mar. He is the regular rider of defending Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Drefong, trained by Baffert and last-out winner of Saratoga's Grade 1 Forego. He also has mounts on two Grade 1-winning 3-year-old fillies, Abel Tasman in the Distaff for Baffert and Unique Bella in the Filly and Mare Sprint for Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer.
* Wynn Las Vegas makes Gun Runner, trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, the 6-5 Classic favorite and lists Arrogate and Collected both 3-1. West Coast, Travers and Pennsylvania Derby winner in his last two starts, is 7-1. Keen Ice, runner-up in Saturday's Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup for trainer Todd Pletcher, is 12-1 and Mubtaahij 15-1.
Gun Runner took Oaklawn Park's Grade 3 Razorback Handicap in February and has since won the Stephen Foster, Whitney and Woodward, all Grade 1s, in his 4-year-old season.
The Distaff looms as a showdown between Oaklawn's last two Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap winners with Stellar Wind 8-5 and Forever Unbridled 9-5. Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman is 3-1 and the Oaklawn-raced multiple Grade 1 winner Elate 4-1 in the Distaff.Sports on 10/11/2017
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