ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2017)–Reigning Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Arrogate worked a mile at 9:05 this morning in 1:38.40, but according to Bob Baffert, a decision has still not been made as to whether he’ll stay home and run in the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on Saturday, March 11, or in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 25.
“The decision will be made by the Prince (Khalid bin Abdullah, owner of Juddmonte Farms),” said Baffert, who watched the work with Arrogate’s regular rider Mike Smith from the Santa Anita box seat area this morning. “All we do is give him the options. Hopefully, we’ll hear something this week. He went very well, it looks like he hasn’t regressed at all (after his win in the inaugural Grade I, $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Jan. 28).
“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.”
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 I 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, Arrogate, if he were to enter and run, 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).
With his Hoppertunity committed to run in Dubai, Baffert’s Mor Spirit is also nominated for the 80th running of America’s longest continually staged “hundred grander.”
Entries for the Santa Anita Handicap will be taken the morning of Wednesday, March 8.
To view uncut morning workout videos, visit XBTV.com, under the video on demand link; http://www.xbtv.com/video-on-demand/workouts/ .