Breeders' Cup - At The Races


  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Likely Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
  • Owner: Juddmonte Farms Inc
  • Age & Breeding: 3-year-old colt; Unbridled's Song – Bubbler
  • Season Form Figures: 111
  • Career Highlight: Breaking the course record when demolishing his Travers rivals

It’s been a largely uninspiring year for the USA three-year-old colts. The horses who proved best in the Triple Crown - Nyquist, Exaggerator, and Creator - have not appeared to train on since and all three have already been retired. But over the summer, a new hope has emerged for this generation of sophomores. His name is Arrogate.

Trained by the silver-haired Bob Baffert, Arrogate showed so much promised in July that there was talk of running him against California Chrome in the Pacific Classic. Baffert backed off that lofty plan, instead allowing Arrogate to annex a second-level allowance race against two overmatched rivals at odds of 1-10.

From there, Baffert send his lightly raced charge east to Saratoga for the Travers. Arrogate proved up to the challenge, demolishing a field of 13 – he’d previously raced against no field larger than six in California. It was an awe inspiring run, breaking the course record for 10 furlongs and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 122 in the process.

Baffert was able to exorcise the demon of having had his Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah, beaten at the upstate New York State oval last year. Like Pharoah, the plan is for Arrogate to be trained up to the Breeders’ Cup. But Arrogate is a very different case. Pharoah was battle tested: a two-year-old champ who excelled throughout the spring. Arrogate didn’t even race until June and it remains to be seen if he’ll have the class and experience to tackle a foe like the esteemed California Chrome, ceding so much experience to that rival.

That said, he seems the most plausible alternative to California Chrome, who has never run a figure as fast as Arrogate’s last. He doesn’t inspire at the current 3-1 odds on offer but is certainly worth keeping an eye on.