April 29, 2017

Arrogate must catch Midnight Storm in 5-horse San Pasqual

Arrogate winning the Breeders' Cup Classic with Mike Smith Photo by BENOIT

Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Arrogate returns to action in Sunday’s $200,000 San Pasqual (G2) at Santa Anita, using the 1 1/16-mile race as a prep for the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on January 28.

A presumptive Horse of the Year finalist and champion 3-year-old male, Arrogate has won five straight since his career debut in mid-April. By Unbridled’s Song, the gray is trained by Bob Baffert and will start from post 5 with a returning Mike Smith.

He appears to be training forwardly for his return from a two-month layoff but Arrogate must avoid leaving himself too much to do as he cuts back in distance.

The massive colt won three in row at the 8 ½-furlong trip early in his career, defeating maiden and conditioned allowance foes, but he really came on when stretching out to 1 ¼ miles in his last two starts, registering a 124 BRIS Speed rating for a 13 ½-length score in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga and a 115 for a half-length decision in the November 5 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

Arrogate closed with a rush to overhaul an odds-on California Chrome in the latter.

Related: Arrogate runs downs California Chrome in final strides of BC Classic

Midnight Storm enters in strong form, posting a convincing wire-to-wire score in the November 27 Native Diver (G3), and the confirmed front-runner is the one to catch with Rafael Bejarano.

A versatile performer, Midnight Storm reeled off consecutive turf stakes wins in the Shoemaker Mile (G1), Eddie Read (G2) and Del Mar Mile (G2) before finishing a close third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). A maiden winner on Santa Anita’s main track 18 ½ months ago, the Phil d’Amato-trained horse switched back to dirt for the Native Diver and registered a career-best 108 BRIS Speed rating for the 7 ¾-length decision.

Related: Midnight Storm strikes in Native Diver

The remaining three contestants – Accelerate, Dalmore and Prospect Park – are likely competing for a minor award.

1 Comment on Arrogate must catch Midnight Storm in 5-horse San Pasqual

  1. i don’t think that mike smith can match rafael bejarano for tactical riding,and therefore, believe midnight storm will defeat arrogate in front running style. as a result of this loss, bob baffert won’t take arrogate to the pegasus!

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