Amazing Travers Stakes By Arrogate

 Aug 31 2016

In a performance unmatched in the 147 year history of the Travers, the Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate won by more than 13 lengths as he smashed the track record for 1 1/4 miles for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

With jockey Mike Smith aboard Arrogate broke like a shot to lead and set fast fractions of 23.23 and 46.84 through his first half-mile. 

He ran his first six in 1:10.85, then opened up coming off the final turn to run his mile in 1:35.52 before stopping the clock at 1.59.36.

Last year Baffert was shattered when his Triple Crown winner American Pharoah was defeated in the Travers for first time in his 3YO campaign by Keen Ice but had his redemption when Arrogate blew away a top class field of colts.

"What he did today is pretty incredible. He looks like a superstar in the making,” Baffert said. 

“I think the fans will remember watching a horse like this. Performances like this, they're very rare. 

"After what he did today he could go into the Breeders' Cup fresh like Pharaoh did. I don't think that's a big problem for him."

Arrogate beat his stablemate American Freedom with the Steve Asmussen-trained Gun Runner completing the trifecta. 

Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational winner Exaggerator started favourite but was never a factor and finished 11th while the Belmont Stakes winner Creator, also trained by Asmussen, came in seventh.

"We ran into a freak today," Asmussen said.

Arrogate capped a huge day at Saratoga for Arrogate’s connections. 

Owners Juddmonte International also had their colours carried to victory by Flintshire in the G1 Sword Dancer Invitational for the second successive year while Baffert sent out Drefong to win the G1 King's Bishop Stakes.

Arrogate, by Unbridled’s Song, was a $560,000 yearling purchase by Juddmonte and was sent to Baffert by Prince Khalid Abdullah after he decided to have the California trainer prepare his horses after the passing of the late Bobby Frankel.

Arrogate will return to California to be trained for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November.

The Chad Brown-trained Flintshire is the leading turf horse in America where he is unbeaten in four starts on the grass since last year's Sword Dancer.

This year he won G1 Manhattan Handicap and G2 Bowling Green before his second Sword Dancer.


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