Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert described Arrogate as "his usual self" Feb. 21. In other words, Juddmonte Farms' champion colt continues to look scary good whenever he ventures out for his morning routine.
Absent of drama and full of ease, Arrogate turned in his trademark visually impressive workout at Santa Anita Park Tuesday when he covered five furlongs in :59 in company with stablemate Whiskey Ticket. In his second timed move since his track-record setting triumph in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28, Arrogate had jockey Martin Garcia along for the ride as he broke off a handful of lengths behind his workmate and advanced as he pleased.
With Garcia's hands still not budging, Arrogate reeled in Whiskey Ticket to his inside down the lane, galloping out with authority in 1:12 3/5.
"He went nice, he went like his usual self. Just cruising around there," Baffert said of the reigning 3-year-old champion male. "He looked happy, it really wasn't much for him. This was more of a maintenance move to keep him interested."
Baffert said that the $64,000 question of where the 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song starts next still doesn't have an answer, with the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airlines (G1) March 25 and the March 11 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) among the races being considered.
Garrett O'Rourke, manager of Juddmonte Farms, added that while all options are being weighed, a trip to Dubai is the front-runner so long as Arrogate continues to give the right signals.
"The horse is sound, he is in super form, and Bob said there is difficulty keeping him on the ground when he gets too high," O'Rourke said. "The easiest way to keep him on the ground is let him work and let him run. We don't want to be hard on him and (Juddmonte owner) Prince Khalid is very clear he wants (Arrogate) to be fresh come the end of the year.
"If there was any doubt about that, we wouldn't even consider going. But the horse seems to be in an exceptionally good state physically and mentally. We'll discuss the case and if Prince Khalid agrees, I think we'll roll the dice."
Bred by Clearsky Farms, Arrogate cemented his status as the top handicap horse in training when he added his 4 3/4-length Pegasus World Cup triumph to a resume that already boasted wins in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) and his record-setting triumph in the Travers Stakes (G1) last August. Baffert said Tuesday he believes Arrogate's Pegasus outing "woke him up a little bit," a mind-boggling thought for a horse already considered a freak.
"I love watching him when he looks like he's cantering in the stretch and his workmate is three to four lengths in front, and then all of the sudden without the rider seemingly even urging him, he just goes 'swoosh,'" O'Rourke said. "Even good horses—whether it be Breeders' Cup time or Derby time when you get to watch a bunch of good ones one after another—those kind of works are rare and they're the ones that make you go 'Wow.' And he strings them together all the time, which is super impressive."
Joining Arrogate on the Tuesday worktab was 3-year-old stablemate Mastery, winner of the Dec. 10 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (G1). The son of Candy Ride worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:12, after which Baffert confirmed the colt would make his seasonal bow in the March 11 San Felipe Stakes (G2). Baffert also said Sham Stakes (G3) runner-up American Anthem is slated to ship to Oaklawn Park for the March 18 Rebel Stakes (G2).