What’s next for Arrogate? No one is really sure what the exact plan is for Arrogate in 2017. The 2016 Travers Stakes (G1), Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1), and 2017 Dubai World Cup (G1) winner has been kind of out of the loop following back-to-back losses in the TVG San Diego Handicap (G2) and the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) his last two races out.
Recently, Arrogate put in his first work since his August 19th defeat in the Pacific Classic and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert believes he saw enough positive signs for Arrogate to get back onto the racetrack in a more competitive manner.
“He went really nice. I just wanted a nice, easy half-mile,” said Baffert. ” (Rafael) Bejarano worked him for me, he knows the horse really well. He said he felt great under him, and went nice and easy.
“He didn’t work really fast, but I just don’t want to do that to him. I’m really happy where he’s at right now. (He) came back, (and) it was like nothing for him. He doesn’t need to do a lot. He looks like he’s got his weight back.”
With back-to-back losses following a string of dazzling performances, Baffert needed a second opinion on Arrogate’s condition from someone in the know — Bejarano.
“(For his) first work back, I just wanted to make sure that somebody who knows the horse really well (was aboard). I needed his input,” said Baffert of Bejarano. “He said (Arrogate) felt strong, he just said he went perfect, like the Arrogate that he knows. So I was happy with that.”
Right now, Baffert publicly states Arrogate is week-to-week, but many believe another run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic this year to defend his 2016 title is the ultimate plan.
“(It’s) the same boat I was in with (2015 Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner) American Pharoah . If you were to tell me in September that we were running in the Breeders’ Cup, I would have told you, I don’t know, we’re 50-50. Right now, I like the way (Arrogate) looks and I was happy with his work. I see big improvements,” said the trainer.
If Arrogate does run in the Classic, you might want to bet on him. He’s the defending champion and Baffert has won the last three Classics as a trainer.