December 31, 2016

California Chrome and Arrogate Prepare for $12-Million Rematch

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California Chrome and Arrogate are preparing for their rematch at the Pegasus World Cup Invitational.

The Pegasus World Cup Invitation at Gulfstream Park is just four weeks away, a $12 million race that favorites California Chrome and Arrogate are both looking for victory in.

The arch-rivals are both currently training for the race at their home tracks in California, before shipping out late next week for a series of races in Florida.

Arrogate, who is currently the favorite for Horse of the Year, infamously snapped Chrome’s winning streak by a nose at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Trainer Bob Baffert said he needs to “get a race” into Arrogate before he leaves, which will take place on Jan. 1 at Santa Anita in the $200,000 Grade II San Pasqual stakes.

“I didn’t want to be waiting too long to put a race into him,” Baffert said. “The San Pasqual will be his hard work.”

Trainer Art Sherman said he hasn’t been able to keep Chrome off the track since his track-record performance on Dec. 17 at Los Alamitos that banked him $180,000.

“He’s been full of himself,” Sherman said. “I’ve never seen him train like this. We missed a couple of days because of rain and he was fresh. Then he galloped three or four straight days and he was wanting to run off every day. It’s just been unbelievable.”

Sherman said Chrome will likely ship out to Florida on or about Jan. 6, which would give him about three weeks to get acquainted with the track. The larger question, however, is poised by the engineering of the Pegasus race itself. It seems to be a match race — there is some money to be had for show, but well under the $1-million it takes to buy a spot in the 12-horse gate.

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