Arrogate Up Late in BC Classic

12th at SA , Gr. Stk, $6,000,000GI Breeders' Cup Classic (1 1/4m)Winner: Arrogate, c, 3 by Unbridled's Song

Arrogate (outside) & California Chrome | Benoit Photo

The heavyweight match-up between the world's highest-rated racehorse California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) and Juddmonte Farms' lightly raced, but undeniably brilliant 'TDN Rising Star' Arrogate (Unbridled's Song), lived up to every expectation and then some in Saturday's GI Breeders' Cup Classic, as the latter wore down his older pacesetting foe in dramatic fashion to score one for the sophomores. California Chrome, 9-10 looking to cap a perfect season that included victories in the G1 Dubai World Cup, GI Pacific Classic S. and GI Awesome Again S., went right to the front while under stout restraint from Victor Espinoza. Arrogate, meanwhile, the GI Travers S. romper backed at 17-10, was hung three deep into the first turn before moving up to sit third out in the clear. 'Chrome' tugged his way through a half in :47.15 facing only mild pressure from two-time GISW Melatonin (Kodiak Kowboy), and got six furlongs in 1:10.96. Mike Smith aboard Arrogate opted for a nifty rail-skimming ride inside of the spent Melatonin hitting the home bend, and the stage was set. California Chrome still had a length or two on Arrogate hitting the quarter pole, and Espinoza hadn't asked him yet, while Smith scrubbed on Arrogate for a bit more. Arrogate responded, and Espinoza went to work on California Chrome past the eight pole. It briefly looked like the favorite might spurt clear again, but there was simply no stopping the long-striding Arrogate, as he gobbled up ground in the shadow of the wire to earn a half-length decision. There was a 10 3/4-length chasm back to 2015 Travers winner Keen Ice (Curlin) in third.

Saturday, Santa Anita Park
BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC-GI, $5,520,345, SA, 11-5, 3yo/up, 1 1/4m, 2:00.11, ft.
1–ARROGATE, 122, c, 3, by Unbridled's Song
1st Dam: Bubbler (MSW & GSP, $211,622), by Distorted Humor
2nd Dam: Grechelle, by Deputy Minister
3rd Dam: Meadow Star, by Meadowlake
($560,000 Ylg '14 KEESEP). O-Juddmonte Farms, Inc.;
B-Clearsky Farms (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Mike E. Smith.
$3,300,000. Lifetime Record: 6-5-0-1, $4,084,600. Werk Nick
Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–California Chrome, 126, h, 5, Lucky Pulpit–Love the Chase,
by Not For Love. O-California Chrome, LLC; B-Perry Martin &
Steve Coburn (CA); T-Art Sherman. $1,020,000.3–Keen Ice, 126, c, 4, Curlin–Medomak, by Awesome Again.
($48,000 Wlg '12 KEENOV; $120,000 Ylg '13 KEESEP).
O-Donegal Racing; B-Glencrest Farm LLC (KY); T-Todd A.
Pletcher. $540,000.Margins: HF, 10 3/4, NK. Odds: 1.70, 0.90, 32.60.
Also Ran: Hoppertunity, Melatonin, Frosted, Effinex, War Story, Win the Space. Scratched: Shaman Ghost. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

“Well, we had a really good trip,” said Mike Smith, winner of the 14th Bill Shoemaker Award for leading jockey at the Breeders' Cup meeting, and who was aboard runner-up Songbird (Medaglia d'Oro) in similarly stirring GI Breeders' Cup Distaff the previous day. “He jumped very well today out of the gate, but was a little reluctant the first probably 16th of a mile. I had to give him a little reminder on his shoulder. Once I did that, I saw that California Chrome had a little bit of company up front, so I felt secure that at least he was going to go quick enough, and I didn't have to go after him early and chase him. Then Victor got a comfortable lead down the backside and kind of started staying off the fence a bit. I didn't want to move too early; that will just make him pack us out more. I winded up cutting the corner going into the far turn, and that really helped a lot, because once I switched over and dropped into the far turn, he really picked it up at that point, able to get him back outside. Then he was relentless, this horse. He never stops. He's got some stamina. [Trainer] Bob [Baffert]'s done a great job. The horse has only run five times [before] and he beat California Chrome. That's incredible.”

Arrogate was third, one spot behind subsequent GII Los Alamitos Derby winner and GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile third Accelerate (Lookin At Lucky), after a disastrous trip sprinting at Los Alamitos first up in April. Brought back going 8 1/2 panels here June 5, he toyed with his competition to garner the 'Rising Star' honor before besting optional claiming foes June 24 and at Del Mar Aug. 4 before finally getting tested for class.

To say he 'aced' that test wouldn't be doing it justice–Arrogate turned in on of the most dominant performances in recent memory to run away with the Aug. 27 Travers by 13 1/2 lengths, good for a 122 Beyer Speed Figure. His graded stakes-winning stablemate was second, with Classic-placed Dirt Mile runner-up Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) third.

That Travers effort was so off-the-charts that there were questions as to whether Arrogate could possibly run back to it–especially against the likes of California Chrome–but the grey colt had continued to impress in the mornings.

This was Hall of Famer Bob Baffert's third-straight Breeders' Cup Classic win–a feat never before accomplished–following a 2014 upset locally by Bayern (Offlee Wild) and last year's laugher by Horse of the Year American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile). He had never before won a Classic before Bayern, and now holds the record.

“Going in, we knew we had a great horse,” Baffert offered. “We thought we could be competitive, but down deep I really wasn't sure if we could beat California Chrome because I still have total respect for the horse. He's a great horse. Down the backside it looked like California Chrome was getting everything going. I thought, well, you know, maybe [Arrogate's] not running. Maybe he's just not into it. But I hope Mike Smith knows what he's doing. And all of a sudden, turning for home it looked like, well–I thought, well, I'm going to run second, but there is nothing wrong with that, because Chrome is a really good horse, and running second to him is no bad thing.”

He continued, “But at the eighth pole, all of a sudden, he started getting into that gear, and he's coming, and he's inching away at him. And that last 50 yards, I could not believe. Of all the horses I've trained–I never thought after losing Pharoah, I thought, 'How are you going to beat something like that with everything we went through?' And then to be so lucky and blessed to have a horse like that. Then to run down a great horse like California Chrome was just like–that's what the Breeders' Cup is all about. Watching races like that. They're just the best. The cream just rises to the top.”

Arrogate's victory capped a Breeders' Cup Saturday that might have otherwise been a bit disappointing for those connected with by Prince Khalid bin Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, as GI Breeders' Cup Turf favorite Flintshire (GB) (Dansili {GB}) had to settle for second carrying the famed green and pink silks earlier in the day. This was Juddmonte's first victory in the Classic.

“Before the race, [racing manager Lord] Teddy [Grimthorpe] and I were talking about which would possibly be the most exciting race we've ever won, and Teddy said, 'Well, let's wait a minute.' We waited a minute, and undoubtedly this is one of the most exciting races we've won,” said Juddmonte president Dr. John Chandler. “We've won great races: the Arc de Triomphe and the English Derby and the Belmont, and we've won races everywhere. And we had Frankel (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), of course, who won everything in sight. But this has got to be one of the greatest things we've done.”

California Chrome's connections tipped their hat to the winner.

“He ran his race, but just got beat in those last couple of jumps,” said trainer Art Sherman. “That winner is the real McCoy. I knew he was the one we had to beat, but I didn't know how good he was. We had no excuses. He broke so darn good that I figured we'd be in front early. The fractions were fine. When we were in front turning for home, I thought he'd win, because he usually hangs on. He's been so good all year long, but it just shows that you can't win every race.”

The dams of both Arrogate and California Chrome will be offered at Monday's Fasig-Tipton November Sale.

Pedigree Notes:

The late Eamon Cleary purchased Arrogate's dam Bubbler (Distorted Humor) for $170,000 as a 4-year-old at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale. The mare was multiple stakes placed on the track and was third in the 2010 GIII Ouija Board Distaff H. Arrogate is the mare's first foal. His half-sister by Medaglia d'Oro sold to Bridlewood Farm for $300,000 at this year's Keeneland September sale.

Bubbler produced a filly by Giant's Causeway this past spring and was bred back to Into Mischief. In foal to that stallion, she is catalogued as hip 110 at Monday's Fasig-Tipton November sale. Arrogate's third dam is champion 2-year-old filly Meadow Star (Meadowlake) and this is also the family of MGISW Belle Gallantey (After Market).

Arrogate is a son of 1995 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Unbridled's Song, who was also ridden by Mike Smith. He is the fifth Breeders' Cup winner for the late stallion, who also sired last year's GI Dirt Mile winner Liam's Map, 2008 GI Juvenile winner Midshipman, 2001 GI Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine and 2010 Distaff winner Unrivaled Belle.

Shaman Ghost Scratched With Fever:

Stronach Stables homebred Shaman Ghost (Ghostzapper), an upset winner over Frosted in the GI Woodward S. at Saratoga when last seen Sept. 3, was forced to scratch from the Classic Saturday morning. “He spiked a little temperature [Friday] night and left some of his feed,” explained Kent Sweeney, assistant to trainer Jimmy Jerkens.


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