Juddmonte Farms' Arrogate , record-setting winner of the Aug. 27 Travers Stakes (gr. I), put in another steady move at Santa Anita Park in advance of his expected start in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), working seven furlongs in 1:24 2/5 Oct. 18 with graded stakes-winning stablemate Mor Spirit.With jockey Rafael Bejarano in the irons, Arrogate broke off well behind his workmate and was still loping along a handful of lengths back as the duo came into the stretch. The long stride that carried the gray son of Unbridled's Song to his 13 1/2-length Travers score proceeded to kick in with gusto, finishing up just ahead of Mor Spirit and continuing on with a big gallop out./p>
“He's a horse that gets stronger with another horse,” said trainer Bob Baffert, who worked Arrogate seven furlongs for the second straight week. “I just wanted to put two put longer works into him where he gallops out a mile. He's pretty fit, he's a just a big, long-jumping horse, but he looks great.”
Mor Spirit, unraced since finishing 10th in this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was credited with an official time of 1:24 3/5.
The way Arrogate ran his foes off their feet in gate-to-wire fashion in the Travers was a surprise to Baffert in terms of its execution. The upstart colt hasn't been one to flaunt his speed in the morning, but the freakish ability he unleashed that day was something he has teased in his three prior victories.
“He's the kind of a horse who never shows any speed in that morning. That's why his Travers, the speed he showed that day, we had never seen that,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. “We're just keep him relaxed and calmed down. We don't want him getting speed crazy or anything like that. We hope he runs that race back, he'll have to run that race back if he's going to beat (champion California Chrome).”
With California Chrome tearing through the handicap ranks this season and several other top 3-year-old runners either retired (Exaggerator , Creator) or coming into the Classic off lackluster efforts (Nyquist ), Arrogate has been tabbed as one of the only obstacles that could potentially derail the 2014 Horse of the Year. Unraced as a juvenile, he has been a wunderkind since breaking his maiden second time out June 5 as the Travers marked his first try against stakes company.
“He'll have to step it up. They all have to step it up because Chrome right now looks unbeatable,” said Baffert, who added Arrogate is expected to have two more works in his Breeders' Cup preparation. “But he looks good, and he's healthy. That's all we can ask for.”
Bred by Clearsky Farms and out of the Distorted Humor mare Bubbler, Arrogate has won four of five career starts with $784,600 in earnings. He was purchased by Juddmonte for $560,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale.