Bob Baffert on Arrogate’s Breeders’ Cup Classic chances: ‘If a horse is going to beat Chrome, it will take a huge performance’
Bob Baffert believes that Arrogate is an improving horse going in to the US$6million (Dh22m) Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita next Saturday.
California Chrome’s chief rival put up one of the standout performances of the season when slamming the Travers Stakes field by 13 and a half lengths in August.
It was not a race of real depth, however, and favourite Exaggerator and Creator both ran well below their best to give the form a light appearance overall.
Baffert has won the Breeders’ Cup Classic for the past two seasons, with Dortmund and American Pharoah, so knows the level required to win and was hopeful the son of Unbridled’s Song could at least serve it up to the Dubai World Cup winner.
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“He is a horse who is getting better,” Baffert said by teleconference. “I know a lot of people are on the fence, but I think he can do something like that again. He is good enough. If a horse is going to beat Chrome, it will take a huge performance to beat him. He looks unbeatable right now.
“I’ve always had a lot of respect for Chrome. This year he is the best I have ever seen him and he is the horse to beat.”
Arrogate has raced just five times during his career and bids to become the lightest-raced three year old to prevail in the 33-year history of the 2,000-metre contest.
California Chrome completed his final serious work for the Classic at Los Alamitos Racecourse on Thursday by going 1,200 metres in just over 1 minute, 12 seconds.
Following his bullish comments on Wednesday trainer Art Sherman felt his runner had a fitness advantage.
“If he’s not fit for a mile and a quarter now, he’ll never be,” the trainer told reporters. “Some of these horses haven’t raced in two or three months. A mile and a quarter first time out of the box is tough.”
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Updated: October 27, 2016 04:00 AM