Powered down the Meydan stretch before dawn in what trainer Bob Baffert said was an approximate 800m (four furlong) breeze, Arrogate was going at an easy clip under exercise rider Dana Barnes before exiting the track in big, springing strides and with his ears pricked.
Baffert said he did not have a stopwatch on the colt but probably went in about 50 seconds for the distance, just enough of a move to sharpen him for Saturday’s Dubai World Cup.
“He’s handling everything really well,” Baffert said of how Arrogate has responded to the long journey from his base in California and the adjustment to the Meydan quarantine stabling and the racetrack surface.
“He looks good to me.” Baffert said Arrogate will walk in the stable area on Tuesday morning and return to train on the main track on Wednesday.
While the only trainer not employed by Godolphin to win more than one Dubai World Cup, Baffert is keen to win more. “I’ve never won it here (at Meydan), and it’s totally different. I really liked that old track (Nad Al Sheba), but this is totally different (with) tighter turns. You need a lot of racing luck to get away from the gate. It becomes a jockey’s race.
“And you never know until they start turning for home – is the horse going to show up? As a trainer, you’re just hoping that at the quarter pole, they’re moving.”
Baffert said all the signs are positive but he pointed out that there is added pressure. “Because I brought this great horse over here and I don’t want to mess it up. It’s still a horse race, and when it’s a major race, I go into it focused. I don’t take anything for granted.
He also made a special point of saying it is a “greatest honour — like being inducted into an international hall of fame” to be associated with Juddmonte Farms owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.
“He’s been a pleasure to work with,” Baffert said. “I can’t believe they had a horse like Frankel, the best horse they’ve ever seen in Europe, and then they get a horse like Arrogate. (Prince Khalid) is doing something right. I’m just glad to be part of it. And I’m counting on Arrogate to get it done” and win the Dubai World Cup.
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