In his previous start, Arrogate faltered early to run last, but made up ground to take the Dubai World Cup

In his previous start, Arrogate faltered early to run last, but made up ground to take the Dubai World Cup

Masakazu Takahashi

Arrogate Begins Del Mar Journey in San Diego Handicap

The path to the Pacific Classic (G1) and Breeders' Cup begins July 22.

Arrogate's march to take over Del Mar in 2017 begins July 22.

The targets are clear for Juddmonte Farms' gray colt. Trainer Bob Baffert wants the four-time grade/group 1 winner to add two more top-level wins to his résumé in the Aug. 19 TVG Pacific Classic (G1) and Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1)—both at Del Mar—but the journey begins in the $300,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) Saturday at the seaside racetrack.

Baffert said July 19 that "everything (has been) great so far" for the son of Unbridled's Song since he moved from Santa Anita Park to Del Mar July 16.

After his final timed work in preparation for the San Diego, Baffert said Arrogate was "up to (his) standards."

"(The San Diego) is a mile and a sixteenth, which is not really his distance, but he's ready for a race," Baffert said of the last-out Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) winner. "He still has to break and there's still racing luck involved. As long as he's healthy and doing well, I just take him there and he always shows us something different."

Arrogate may not need to be cranked to 100% for him to defeat the group of five challengers entered in the San Diego. Accelerate and Dalmore are the only other graded winners in the field, but those were 3-year-old restricted races some time ago.

Dalmore—owned by Big Chief Racing, Head of Plains Partners, Rocker O Ranch, and others—last won the Affirmed Stakes (G3) in July 2016 and hasn't won in seven starts since, including a fifth-place finish last time out in the All American Stakes (G3) at Golden Gate Fields May 29.

Hronis Racing's Accelerate last won in the Los Alamitos Derby (G2) in September 2016, but the Lookin At Lucky  colt has placed in all five of his starts since. His last start, however, was his least impressive of the group. Accelerate came in third of five in the June 24 Precisionist Stakes (G3), but was 15 3/4 lengths behind winner Collected and 1 3/4 lengths behind fellow Baffert runner and runner-up Cat Burglar, who is also entered in the San Diego.

Michael Lund Petersen's Cat Burglar is still seeking his first graded win at age 7, but has placed in four of his graded tries in his 19-race career and has earned $485,500. Another son of Unbridled's Song, Cat Burglar also was Arrogate's workmate July 15, when he played target in the champion gray's six-furlong drill in 1:11 flat at Santa Anita.

"(Cat Burglar) went really well too, but he's tough," Baffert said. "He works hard."

In Cat Burglar's last victory, a March 31 optional-claiming allowance at Santa Anita, the six-time winner defeated fellow San Diego entrant El Huerfano by 1 1/2 lengths. The 5-year-old Tannersmyman gelding trained by Peter Miller then shipped to Churchill Downs for a ninth-place run in the Alysheba (G2), then returned to Southern California to win another optional-claiming allowance by 2 1/4 lengths last time out June 18 at Santa Anita.

Reddam Racing's Donworth, whose last win came in the 2015 Stanton Stakes at Delaware Park, completes the field. The 5-year-old son of Tiznow  hasn't won since moving to the barn of Doug O'Neill, but placed in a pair of grade 2 races in 2016—the San Antonio Stakes and Charles Town Classic—and returned from a 14-month layoff to run fourth in the Precisionist Stakes at Santa Anita last time out.

Entries: TVG San Diego H. (G2)

Del Mar, Saturday, July 22, 2017, Race 9

  • Grade II
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 6:03 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Accelerate (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateVictor Espinoza117John W. Sadler8/1
22El Huerfano (CA)Evin A. Roman115Peter Miller12/1
33Arrogate (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith126Bob Baffert1/5
44Donworth (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMario Gutierrez116Doug F. O'Neill10/1
55Cat Burglar (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano118Bob Baffert10/1
986Dalmore (FL)Keeneland Sales GraduateSCRATCHED0UNKNOWN-