World’s Top Rated Horse Suffers Shock Defeat
WORLD’S TOP- RATED HORSE SUFFERS SHOCK DEFEAT
Saturday’s San Diego Handicap at Del Mar in North America was expected to be little more than an exercise gallop for the world’s top- rated racehorse Arrogate who had taken on an air of invincibility since finishing third on his debut at Los Alamitos in April 2016. A run of seven victories followed that promising first effort culminating in an awesome last to first win in Meydan’s valuable Dubai World Cup back in March earning a rating of 134 in the process. The biggest prize-money earner in the history of the sport was meant to be having a straightforward prep run for the $1 million Pacific Classic on August 19th but things did not go according to plan as the Juddmonte-owned son of Unbridled’s Song trailed in a dismal fifteen and a half length fourth of five behind easy winner Accelerate.
Even though the four-year-old was conceding weight to his four rivals and despite running over a trip short of his best the mount of Mike Smith looked to have plenty in hand for the Grade 2 contest, a fact mirrored by the the horse’s price of 1-20. Those prepared to take those prohibitive odds could see the writing on the wall some way from home as Arrogate’s short-live effort entering the stretch soon petered out as Victor Espinoza drove Accelerate out for a wide margin victory over Donworth and Cat Burglar.
Racegoers at Del Mar were comparing the shock result to that of Cigar’s defeat at the hands of Dare And Go in the 1996 Pacific Classic, prompting Arrogate’s rider to state “ I’m at a loss for words.” “ He was just flat, so flat. We were going around there ok and then I took him outside like I did in Dubai but he didn’t pick up.”
As for the horse racing betting aspect goes, Trainer Bob Baffert failed to shed any more light on the unexpected performance after the race, saying: “ I think he was just flat. I thought he’d run better than that, but he just didn’t want to go. I think he just laid an egg.” Of the $2,671,938 bet on the win-place-show pools 92% was wagered on Arrogate, an expensive lesson for his supporters who will be hoping to recoup their losses should the colt return to his scintillating best in the near future.