Arrogate looking good for whatever’s next on schedule
While no next race has yet been picked out for Arrogate, it certainly is looking like he’ll be racing again within the next six weeks or so. There had been thought prior to the Pegasus World Cup that he might get a break after that race, but he ran so well that day and came out of it so well that he’s continued right along with his training.
The most obvious and richest option for Arrogate would be the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 25, but trainer Bob Baffert said he’s “not in any hurry to make any call” regarding where Arrogate runs next.
But Baffert clearly is happy with how Arrogate has done since winning the $12 million Pegasus on Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park. He had his first work since that race Tuesday, when he went a half-mile in 48.60 seconds at Santa Anita under his regular work rider, jockey Martin Garcia. Baffert had Arrogate galloping out five furlongs in 1:01. Arrogate went by himself. “He got lonely there in the stretch,” Baffert said. “He was just galloping along.”
Baffert said Arrogate has done “really well” since the Pegasus.
“He’s held his weight well, he’s happy,” Baffert said.
The Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap is on March 11, and unless Arrogate goes in that race, Midnight Storm looms as the likely favorite.
Midnight Storm, a former turf specialist, has won on dirt in his last two starts – including the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes on Jan. 1 – and he continued to train right along for the Big Cap with a sharp six-furlong drill earlier this week at Santa Anita in 1:12.20.
“His last breeze was sensational,” trainer Phil D’Amato said Wednesday.
Bella Luma healthy again
Bella Luma was beaten 5 1/4 lengths when fifth behind Sircat Sally in the California Cup Oaks for statebred fillies at Santa Anita on Jan. 28. To trainer Ed Moger Jr., the performance was better than it looked.
“She missed a little bit of time before that race because she was sick,” Moger said. “She had a cold.”
Bella Luma will have her second start of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting in an optional claimer at a mile on turf for Californiabred 3-year-old fillies Friday. The race, the third on an eight-race card, drew a field of eight. Five of them ran in the Cal Cup Oaks, including How About Zero and Princess Roi, who were second and third.
Those runners will attract the bulk of support in the optional claimer, but Moger is hopeful Bella Luma can perform better after recovering from her illness and running in the Cal Cup Oaks.
Owned by breeder Tom Bachman and Linda Brown, Bella Luma has one win in six starts, winning a maiden race by nine lengths at Golden Gate Fields last October. She was third behind Sircat Sally and Cash Prize in the Soviet Problem Stakes at Locas Alamitos in December.
How About Zero drew the rail in Friday’s race. Trained by Doug O’Neill for Paul and Zillah Reddam, How About Zero was beaten 2 1/4 lengths at 27-1 by the heavily favored Sircat Sally. How About Zero won the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes at seven furlongs on Nov. 4, her only win in six starts.
Princess Roi has performed consistently since being transferred to turf. She won a maiden race in November at Del Mar in her first start on the surface and was second to Miss Sugars in the Blue Norther Stakes against open company here on turf Dec. 29.
Buena Vista all wet?
A strong storm expected to bring plenty of wet weather to Southern California was forecast to hit beginning Friday and lasting through Saturday, and that could impact the Grade 2, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes for older females, scheduled for one mile on the turf course Saturday.
Entries for the Buena Vista were to be taken Wednesday, and Rick Hammerle, the vice president of racing and racing secretary, said the hope was the race would remain on turf. There already has been one stakes race for that division washed onto the main track this meet, the Robert Frankel on Dec. 31. Among those eyeing the Buena Vista was Pretty Girl, who was second in the Frankel.
The Buena Vista field also was expected to include Do the Dance, Evo Campo, Hillhouse High, Jeremy’s Legacy, Juno, Mokat, Prize Exhibit, and Wild at Heart.