The inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup is still a few weeks away, but trainer Bob Baffert is already thinking about the post position draw. In a race in which his star 4-year-old Arrogate will face a rematch with California Chrome, Baffert is hoping to draw one of the innermost stalls in the starting gate, reports skysports.com.
“Florida is very speed-favored,” said the Hall of Fame conditioner. “The break is very important. In these big races, when you have a large field, post position can be really important at Gulfstream because if you're in 11 or 12 it can be a disadvantage as they break right near the turn. It's a very short run to the (first) turn.”
Gulfstream Park's dirt track features a 1 1/8-mile circumference; the Pegasus World Cup is scheduled for 1 1/8 miles. That means that the starting gate will be placed slightly before the finish line, so horses will have to fight for early position or else risk being forced out very wide on the first turn.
“Out of the blocks, he doesn't fire away from there,” Baffert said, noting that Arrogate is not particularly good at leaving the starting gates quickly. However, Baffert believes that Arrogate is “going to get better. His biggest weapon is his stride. He's got a tremendous stride, he's got a tremendous kick and he does have speed.”
Read more at skysports.com.
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