Day two of the 33rd Breeders' Cup World Championships took place Saturday at Santa Anita Race Course in Arcadia, California with 72,811 fans in attendance, a new record for Saturday since the event expanded to 2 days. Conditions were excellent with clear skies, minimal wind, and temperatures in the mid 80's, with the main track rated fast and the turf course firm.
Down the stretch with Arrogate chasing down California Chrome
The $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) is the richest race in North America, featuring top older horses going 1 1/4 miles on the main track, in a race that often decides Champion Older Horse, Champion 3-Year-Old Male, and/or Horse of the Year. A field of 9 went to post after Shaman Ghost scratched out due to a fever. As expected, local hero California Chrome was sent off as the 9-10 favorite off a 5 race win streak including the Dubai World Cup (G1), Pacific Classic (G1), and Awesome Again (G1). In to challenge him incuded 9-5 second choice Arrogate, winner of the Travers (G1), and 8-1 third choice Frosted, winner of the Metropolitan (G1) and Whitney (G1) but a close third in the Woodward (G1) last out.
Jockey Victor Espinoza sent California Chrome to the lead exiting the chute and he clicked off fractions of 23.28, 47.15, 1:10.96, and 1:35.72 while 1 1/2 lengths ahead of 17-1 Melatonin and Arrogate. California Chrome looked home free in midstretch but Arrogate, who passed the tiring Melatonin on the turn, steadily gained ground in the final furlong and outfinished California Chrome in the final yards, winning by 1/2 a length in 2:00.11. It was a long 10 3/4 length back to 32-1 Keen Ice third.
Arrogate wins the Classic
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
10 Arrogate Smith 5.40 2.80 2.60
4 California Chrome Espinoza 2.60 2.40
3 Keen Ice Castellano 5.80
Winning Time: 2:00.11
$1 Exacta 10-4 5.00
$1 Trifecta 10-4-3 74.60
$1 Superfecta 10-4-3-9 296.30
$1 Super High Five 10-4-3-9-6 942.30
$2 Pick Six 2-5-12-12-5-10 292,423.20
Left: Arrogate heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Mike Smith said, "He jumped very well today out of the gate, but was a little reluctant the first probably 1/16 mile. California Chrome had a little bit of company up front of him, so I felt secure that at least he was going to go quick enough, and I didn't have to go after him early and chase him I winded up cutting the corner going into the far turn, and that really helped a lot. He really picked it up at that point, able to get him back outside. Then he was relentless, he never stops. He's got some stamina. The horse has only run five times and he beat California Chrome. That's incredible."
Right: The trophy celebration with trainer Bob Baffert holding the trophy. Baffert said, "Turning for home I thought I'm going to run second, but there is nothing wrong with that, because Chrome is a really good horse, and running second to him is no bad thing. But the 1/8 pole (Arrogate) started getting into that gear, and he's coming, and he's inching away at him. And that last 50 yards, I could not believe. Of all the horses I've trained -- I never thought after losing Pharoah that I thought how are you going to beat something like that. Then to run down a great horse like California Chrome, that's what the Breeders' Cup is all about. Watching races like that. They're just the best. The cream just rises to the top."
Left: Arrogate heads out to the track before the race.
Right: Arrogate heads back to the barn with his new winner's blanket. Asked about the decision to train up to the Classic, Juddmonte farm manager Garrett O'Rourke said, "(Owner) Prince Khalid has always been a firm believer in hiring the very best and allowing them to do their jobs. He doesn't tell them what to do or how to do it. It's something that I've learned from him as well. So don't believe what Doc (John Chandler) says in me telling Bob Baffert. I don't have to tell Bob Baffert how to do anything. I don't have to tell Mike Smith how to do anything. They're the very best at their profession, and they proved it today. I thank them for it."
Left: Second place finisher California Chrome leads first time by. Jockey Victor Espinoza said, “It was great. He’s an awesome horse. I was all by myself in the front and thought I could save something for the very end. Thinking back, I should have just let him run early but he ran great.”
Right: California Chrome heads back to the barn. Trainer Art Sherman said, “He ran his race, but just got beat in those last couple of jumps. (Arrogate) is the real McCoy. I knew he was the one we had to beat, but I didn’t know how good he was. We had no excuses. He broke so darn good that I figured we’d be in front early. The fractions were fine. When we were in front turning for home, I thought he’d win, because he usually hangs on. He’s been so good all year long, but it just shows that you can’t win every race.”
Left: Third place finisher Keen Ice returns after the race. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, “The pace didn’t really develop quite the way we thought it would. We were hoping they’d mix it up more than they did. I thought he put in a good, long sustained run. He showed some guts and fought hard for third and showed some guts.”
Right: The horses break from the gate for the Breeders' Cup Classic. Winning jockey Mike Smith aboard Arrogate (10) said, "This was incredible today. You just don't see things like this from a young 3-year-old that's only run five times. He literally was prancing after the race was over. Most horses hang their head and have to take a breath or two before they can even turn around and come back after going 1 1/4. He hasn't run in two months and he was literally dancing. The outrider couldn't believe it. He goes, Are you kidding me? This horse is dancing like this? And I said, He's just got air forever."
2016 Breeders' Cup Friday - There were four Breeders' Cup races on Friday at Santa Anita headlined by the Distaff (G1) where Beholder edged out favorite Songbird to win her 3rd Breeders' Cup race. Also on the card, New Money Honey won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Tamarkuz won the Dirt Mile (G1), and Oscar Performance won the Juvenile Turf (G1). Get the results, charts, and photos for all 8 stakes on the card. More photos: Juvenile Turf -
Juvenile Fillies Turf -
Dirt Mile -
2016 Breeders' Cup Thursday Works - Photos and comments for 39 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Thursday November 3 in the morning at Santa Anita, including Found and the rest of the Aidan O'Brien horses out of quarantine.
2016 Breeders' Cup Wednesday Works - Photos and comments for 33 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Wednesday November 2 in the morning at Santa Anita, including Flintshire and Beholder as well as California Chrome.
2016 Breeders' Cup Tuesday Works - Photos and comments for 66 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Tuesday November 1 in the morning at Santa Anita, including California Chrome.
2016 Breeders' Cup Entries - Final entries were taken and post positions drawn on Monday for the 13 Breeders' Cup Championship races on November 4 and 5 at Santa Anita. Check out the post positions, odds, and horses for all the races.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2016 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita. Updated for 2016, this is their 25th anniversary edition.
The Breeders' Cup Championship Day - The official page for the Breeders' Cup championship races. Just about anything you need to know about it: results, video clips, and race calls for past years, and eventually nominations, entries, and results.
Free Prep Replays - for major prep races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The ones with camera logos have video available.
Breeders' Cup Supplemental Entries - The old official policy on supplemental entries plus all the supplemental entries and how they fared, mostly it was a losing proposition. There are no more supplements now, only late nominations making it impossible to track now.