Arrogate, the top-rated thoroughbred in the world, made the journey from Santa Anita to Del Mar on Sunday, a day earlier than expected, and is in place for projected starts in the $200,000 TVG San Diego Handicap Saturday and the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 19.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's 78th Summer Season opens Wednesday and continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 4.
Arrogate was loaded into a van at Santa Anita at around 2 a.m. Sunday. The approximately 130-mile trip down freeways to Del Mar took around two hours, said Dana Barnes, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Arrogate was soon ensconced in a stall partway down the shedrow only a few steps from Baffert's office. Coincidentally it is the same space occupied by Triple Crown champion American Pharoah two summers ago. A place for equine royalty. “It's Arrogate's stall,” said Baffert assistant Jim Barnes. “The same one he had here last year.”
Arrogate overcame a slow start to post a 1 ¾-length victory over two other rivals here on August 4 of 2016, a warm-up for a victory three weeks later in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
Arrogate will enter Saturday's Grade II TVG San Diego Handicap on a seven-race winning streak – his only loss came in his debut in April of last year — and earnings of $17,084,600. The last three victories have been notched in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic, $12 million Pegasus World Cup and $!0 million Emirates World Cup. The march through the multi-million dollar races made Arrogate, owned by Juddmonte Farms, the richest earner in North American history.
A series of workouts in which the 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song appeared to be holding his superior form were capped Saturday when he went six furlongs in 1:11 flat. Arrogate jogged around the Del Mar track Monday morning and is not scheduled to do anything more strenuous than that before the race.
Entries for the San Diego will be finalized and post positions drawn on Wednesday morning. Racing officials project a field of around five from the 14 nominees. The most likely, in alphabetical order, are: Accelerate for trainer John Sadler, Arrogate and possibly one more from Baffert's power-laden stable, Dalmore (trainer J. Keith Desormeaux), Donworth (Doug O'Neill), and Win The Space (George Papaprodromou).
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