Ar­ro­gate seeks up­set in Breed­ers' Cup Clas­sic

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Beth Har­ris

Cal­i­for­nia Chrome is un­beaten in six starts. Ar­ro­gate is 4of 5and won the Travers with the fastest time in the race’s his­tory. The 2014Horse of the Year and the young chal­lenger are set to face off in the Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic.

Cal­i­for­nia Chrome is un­de­feated in six starts this year. Ar­ro­gate is 4 of 5 and won the Travers with the fastest time in the race’s 147-year his­tory.

The 2014 Horse of the Year and the young chal­lenger are set to face off in the Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic.

The 1 ¼-mile Clas­sic worth $6 mil­lion is the rich­est of 13 races to be run today at Santa Anita, the ninth time the track has hosted the world cham­pi­onships. The race will be shown live in prime time on NBC. Cal­i­for­nia Chrome is the early even-money fa­vorite with a chance to ex­pand his ca­reer earn­ings of more than $13.4 mil­lion, which al­ready make the 5-year-old horse the rich­est in North Amer­i­can his­tory.

Ar­ro­gate is a late-de­vel­op­ing 3-year-old gray colt who didn’t run as a ju­ve­nile. His first start didn’t come un­til April, when he fin­ished third. He’s won his four sub­se­quent starts by over 23 lengths.

“His record speaks for it­self,” his jockey Mike Smith said. “He’s been train­ing un­be­liev­ably. He’ll need to re­peat the race he ran in the Travers to beat Cal­i­for­nia Chrome and the oth­ers, but he’s got the tal­ent.”

Ar­ro­gate drew the far out­side post in the 10-horse field. He is the 5-2 se­cond choice and will try to de­liver a record third straight vic­tory in the Clas­sic for trainer Bob Baf­fert as the only 3-year-old in the race.

Cal­i­for­nia Chrome will break from post No. 4 un­der Vic­tor Espinoza, who rode Amer­i­can Pharoah to Triple Crown glory last year.

“He’s go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult to out­run,” Smith said. “If there’s any­one that has a chance to up­set the ap­ple cart, I think I’m on the right horse.” Cal­i­for­nia Chrome fin­ished third in the Clas­sic two years ago at the end of his 3-year-old sea­son, in which he won the Ken­tucky Derby and Preak­ness and fin­ished in a dead-heat for fourth in the Bel­mont.

“He only got beaten a neck, but he wasn’t at his best men­tally,” trainer Art Sher­man said of Chrome’s pre­vi­ous Clas­sic run. “He shipped around a lot that year and went through the Triple Crown races. There’s such a dif­fer­ence be­tween how he’s com­ing into this year’s Clas­sic and then.

“Now he’s got his game face on when he gets to the pad­dock. He’s all busi­ness; he knows what he has to do. He brings his ‘A’ game. Chrome is big­ger and stronger than ever. The way he runs now, he’s be­come a push but­ton horse; he’ll do what­ever Vic­tor asks of him,” Sher­man said.

Ar­ro­gate ex­ploded onto the na­tional scene in the Travers in Au­gust, win­ning by 13 ¼ lengths at Saratoga while set­ting a track record in the process.

“He’ll have to be re­ally good to beat Chrome,” Baf­fert said. “Now I know how the other guys felt last year when I had Amer­i­can Pharoah.”

Baf­fert won last year’s Clas­sic with Triple Crown cham­pion Amer­i­can Pharoah and the 2014 edi­tion with Bay­ern.

Be­sides Ar­ro­gate, Baf­fert will sad­dle Jockey Club Gold Cup win­ner Hop­per­tu­nity in the Clas­sic.

Other Clas­sic starters are: last year’s run­ner-up Effinex; Met Mile and Whit­ney win­ner Frosted; Keen Ice (fourth last year); Gold Cup win­ner Mela­tonin; Shaman Ghost; War Story; and Win the Space.

In the $2 mil­lion Filly & Mare Turf, Lady Eli tries to con­tinue her suc­cess­ful re­turn from a life-threat­en­ing ill­ness as the early 5-2 fa­vorite for the 1 ¼-mile race.

The 4-year-old filly’s ca­reer was stalled for 13 months be­cause of lamini­tis, a hoof ail­ment that led to the death of 2006 Ken­tucky Derby win­ner Bar­baro. Lady Eli, win­ner of the 2014 BC Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf, beat the odds and re­turned in late Au­gust to fin­ish se­cond in the Ball­ston Spa at Saratoga.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.