July 17, 2024

Arrogate ‘fresh’ upon return, eyes Pacific Classic en route to Breeders’ Cup title defense

Arrogate became North America's all-time richest racehorse in the 2017 Dubai World Cup (Dubai Racing Club/Mathea Kelley)

All-conquering Arrogate has come out of his Dubai World Cup (G1) adventure in fine fettle, judging by his appearance and attitude when arriving back home at Santa Anita Saturday.

North America’s new all-time earnings leader with more than $17 million in the bank, Arrogate was released from Los Angeles International Airport’s quarantine area and vanned to trainer Bob Baffert’s barn exactly one week after his heroics in the desert.

“This is exciting, I’ve been praying since the race was over to get him back home,” Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith said as part of his welcoming crew.

“He had so much turbulence in the race, he didn’t need any in the air.

“He’s like Muhammed Ali.  He’s the best in the world!”

Reilly: Arrogate overcomes adversity to reign supreme in Dubai World Cup

Juddmonte Farm’s streaking son of Unbridled’s Song is now getting a 30-day break from serious work, not that he’s asking for a vacation.

Alluding to Arrogate’s bright condition, Baffert quipped about bringing him back in the May 27 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) – an obvious jest that didn’t even need an April Fool’s tag.

“He’s a little fresh,” the Hall of Famer told Santa Anita publicity.

“We’ll back off of him for about 30 days…We’ll train him, but he won’t breeze for 30 days…He tells us what he wants to  do…We’ll have to do something with him.”

The two races that Baffert has already circled on the calendar are fairly predictable, both marquee 10-furlong events in the older male division in the second half of the season. Arrogate has the luxury of staying in Southern California for the duration, unless connections have another bold idea in mind.

“He’ll run in the Pacific Classic ([G1] at Del Mar on August 19) and then the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) down there (November 4)…He might run one time before that.”

Should Arrogate successfully defend his crown in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, he would join Hall of Famer Tiznow as the race’s only two-time winners. He’d make history as the first reigning Dubai World Cup winner to add the Breeders’ Cup Classic laurel in the same calendar year. And he’d push his bankroll north of $20 million.