According to James Scully of TwinSpires, it was now or never time for 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) and 2017 Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Arrogate heading into this past weekend’s $1 million TVG Pacific Classic Stakes (G1).
Scully mentioned Arrogate needed “to run well or his racing career is probably over.” Whether or not Arrogate’s career is over, depending on what Scully’s definition of success is, Arrogate did not win the TVG Pacific Classic, but he did finish a close second to fellow Bob Baffert-trained Collected, losing by a half-length.
The loss marked the first time in Arrogate’s career that he lost back-to-back races. Following a third-place result in his maiden race at Los Alamitos, Arrogate reeled off seven straight wins, including four grade one stakes victories, before finishing fourth in last month’s TVG San Diego Handicap (G2) and his second-place finish in the TVG Pacific Classic.
“Arrogate—at least he tried today,” said Baffert. “He’s getting there, but I think that when I ran him in the San Diego it messed up his psyche a little bit. I don’t think I have a problem bringing him back in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). But he’s got to be fresh, just like Collected came in here fresh. And Collected is a very good horse.”
Baffert still believes Arrogate is the best horse in the world and will train him up to compete in this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which takes places in early November at Del Mar. Arrogate is 1-1-0 in four career starts at Del Mar, and is 1-0 in the Breeders’ Cup, wining the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita in 2016.