Trainer Bob Baffert didn’t mince any words one day after stable star Arrogate’s tough beat in Saturday’s San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar.
“You go back and look,” he admitted. “I prepped him pretty much like usual but I came into this race thinking I really didn’t have to do that much with him. I didn’t want him to have to run that hard, going short.
“He’s fine. He didn’t really put out that much. We checked him over (physically) and he looks good. He got a lot of dirt in his eyes and mouth.”
Arrogate was sent off the prohibitive 1-20 favorite in the San Diego following dominating wins in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1). Unlike those races, however, the Unbridled’s Song colt was never into the San Diego, running well back of the leaders and finishing a lackluster fourth.
He was beaten 15 1/4 lengths by winner Accelerate on the wire.
“They got away from him, he made a little run but then he was just flat. This track, you have to be up close you can’t be too far back,” Baffert said.
The Hall of Fame conditioner isn’t dwelling much on whether or not he had Arrogate ready for the 1 1/16-mile San Diego. Instead, Baffert is focused on the Kentucky-bred’s next race in the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) going 1 1/4 miles at Del Mar on August 19.
“We’ll just go on with him,” Baffert said. “As long as he’s working well and nothing comes up, we’re going in the Pacific Classic. I wanted to give him a race here, thinking it would be a great workout for him, but the Pacific Classic is the main goal.”
While disappointed with the outcome of the San Diego, Baffert still credited the winner.
“They were ready for me,” he nodded. “(Trainer) John (Sadler) did a great job with his horse (winner Accelerate). It’s disappointing, but Arrogate is OK and that’s all that matters. He’ll be ready next time.”