LAST YEAR'S WINNER - ARROGATE
- Trainer: Bob Baffert
- Jockey: Mike Smith
- Owner: Juddmonte Farms Inc
- Odds: 7/4
- Betting Stats
- Favourites: 2/8 (25.0%) | Level stake loss -17.5%
- Odds on Favs: 0/2 (0.0%) | Level stake loss -100.0%
- Median winning price: 5.1/1
Last year’s Classic truly lived up to its billing, serving up a pulsating finish as Arrogate overhauled the tough-as-teak California Chrome on his way to Horse of The Year honours and he is scheduled to be back to defend his crown.
How has the favourite fared?
This is tough division for favourites with the likes of Curlin and California Chrome tasting defeat at odds-on and, in total, four at the top of the market failing to get into the trifecta slots.
Run record and class clues
Pleasantly Perfect in 2003 is the only one of the eight winners to arrive for the big one without a G1 win to his name. Six of the eight won their immediate prep.
Half of the winners have come from local barns. Bob Baffert has trained the last two winners in California and putting American Pharoah’s win at Keeneland in the middle of the sandwich means that the Silver Fox is going for a four timer at Del Mar. At the combined prices available at the time of writing, he’s a shade of odds-on to accomplish the feat with his contenders this year.
East Coast preps have provided winners of five of the eight runnings being considered here and Raven’s Pass came in from an Ascot win in the QE II when they ran it around the turn on the Old Mile at Ascot.
No definitive run style has dominated in the sample being considered here and, as often is the case, the final declarations should be studied for clues about how the race may be contested. The days of blaze away front runners has largely disappeared since the emergence of the Dirt Mile and pace collapsing upsets are less likely nowadays.
I don’t think it is very likely that five-year-olds would have as good a record in major races over here as they do in US and that applies to this division, although the last three winners have all been representatives of the classic generation.
There are a full two and half furlongs from the ten furlongs start to the first turn which is plenty enough time for the field to sort itself out negating any perceived disadvantage from any particular draw. A maximum of 14 run here – this isn’t oversized get that causes issues in the Kentucky Derby
- It has paid to treat the top of the market cautiously.
- Don’t be put off if your fancy is a shipper.
- The draw should have little impact.
- It has paid to follow Bob Baffert trained three-year-olds in the last three renewals.