Arrogate works, California Chrome jogs on busy Pegasus weekend
Arrogate and California Chrome, the respective one-two finishers from the November 5 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and finalists for the 2016 Horse of the Year Eclipse Award, each took to the track on Sunday to ready for their upcoming showdown in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).
The 1 1/8-mile contest is scheduled for January 28 at Gulfstream Park, and that is where California Chrome jogged on Sunday.
But it was Arrogate who held all the attention on the West Coast, zipping through an in-company work with jockey Martin Garcia aboard.
The newly turned four-year-old started off behind his stablemate Uninvited, quickly caught up and passed the fellow Bob Baffert trainee, and clocked an official time of 1:11.94 for six furlongs. Arrogate set splits of :24.51, :47.96 and :59.89 en route to that clocking but kept right on zipping over Santa Anita’s good dirt.
In the end the gray son of Unbridled’s Song turned seven furlongs in 1:24.56 and galloped out a mile in 1:37.
Baffert was happy with the move, commenting “I was happy with the way he finished. I still have to see how he comes out of it. It was nice to get the work in.”
California Chrome ended up doing a bit more than expected at Gulfstream, as well.
The six-year-old chestnut visited the track a lot earlier than Arrogate, showing up at 5:45 a.m. (ET). California Chrome went for a spirited jog the wrong way around Gulfstream’s main track, then turned it into two laps around on the recommendation of regular exercise rider Dihigi Gladney to assistant trainer Alan Sherman.
“We ended up jogging him twice, just because he has been off three days,” Gladney explained. “They walked him yesterday after he got here on Friday, so I knew today was going to be tough.
“He’s gentle to ride, but he’s that type of horse who knows who he is. He’s on it.”
In other Pegasus World Cup news, possible starter and multiple Grade 2-placed War Envoy also took a spin around Santa Anita Park, getting four furlongs in :49.80 on Sunday.
Grade 2-placed Semper Fortis, another Pegasus candidate, traveled five furlongs over Santa Anita’s dirt training track Sunday in 1:03.80. The Doug O’Neil pupil was last seen finishing sixth in the Malibu Stakes (G1) on December 26.
Grade 1 scorer Keen Ice, third behind Arrogate and California Chrome in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, toured Palm Beach Downs on Saturday for trainer Todd Pletcher. The five-year-old son of Curlin breezed a co-bullet five furlongs in 1:00.40.
Keen Ice worked in company with stablemate and fellow Pegasus starter Neolithic. That Harlan’s Holiday four-year-old finished second in Aqueduct’s Discovery Stakes (G3) prior to taking an allowance at Gulfstream by nine lengths on December 14, and shared the co-bullet for five furlongs at Palm Beach Downs on Saturday.
Grade 2 winner Stanford, yet another Pegasus hopeful from the Pletcher shedrow, also took to the track at Palm Beach Downs Saturday, breezing a half-mile in :48.80.
Woodward Stakes (G1) hero and Canadian champion Shaman Ghost, third last out in the Clark Handicap (G1), breezed six furlongs in 1:14.65 at Palm Meadows Training Center on Friday.
Gun Runner captured the Clark in his last start, one race after a runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), and readied for the Pegasus at trainer Steve Asmussen’s Fair Grounds winner base on Saturday. The Candy Ride four-year-old clocked six furlongs in 1:13.20.
Arrogate photo courtesy of Benoit Photos
California Chrome photo courtesy of Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography