“The big horse works tomorrow.”
So spoke Bob Baffert at Clockers' Corner on an intermittently rainy Sunday morning, referring to Breeders' Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup winner Arrogate, who is scheduled to work at 7:45 a.m. under jockey Martin Garcia, after which a decision could be forthcoming on whether the Eclipse Award champion three-year-old male of 2016 will run in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 11, or go elsewhere.
With the spate of recent rain altering training schedules, Baffert deems it crucial to get the work for Arrogate in tomorrow to maintain a regimen that will keep the son of Unbridled's Song race ready no matter where he surfaces next. Arrogate is reportedly being considered for both the Santa Anita Handicap and the Dubai World Cup at Meydan.
Also scheduled to work Monday for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap at a mile and a quarter is Midnight Storm for Phil D'Amato, who has been firm on the Big 'Cap since the versatile speedster won the Grade II San Pasqual Stakes on Jan. 1.
“I'm very happy with him,” D'Amato said of the six-year-old full horse by Pioneerof the Nile out of the Bertrando dam My Tina, and a graded stakes winner on dirt and turf. “We're looking forward to running in the Big 'Cap.”
Kobe's Back, who last raced June 25, 2016, finishing third in the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes, worked six furlongs on Santa Anita's “good” main track at 11:45 a.m. before Sunday's first race at 12:30 p.m. for this year's Triple Bend for four-year-olds and up at seven furlongs on March 11.
Under regular rider Gary Stevens, Kobe's Back was clocked in 1:13.13, with fractional times of 23.74, 35.71, 47.94 and 1:00.30.
A six-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Flatter trained by Peter Eurton for the C R K Stable, millionaire Kobe's Back has a 5-3-4 record from 20 starts with earnings of $1,036,250.
Also working before the first race were a trio for Bob Baffert, three-year-old American Anthem, in company with Downtowner, and Grade II Matron winner Pretty N Cool, who is nominated to next Sunday's Las Flores Stakes.
American Anthem, runner-up to Gormley in the Sham Stakes, was ridden by Martin Garcia and timed in 59.40 for five furlongs. The fractional times were 23.68, 46.76 and 58.98, with a six furlong gallop out of 1:11.51. Downtowner received a final time of 59.40.
Pretty N Cool went six furlongs under Garcia in 1:11.03, getting splits of 23.82, 46.82 and 59.03, with a seven furlong gallop out of 1:24.17.
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