Arrogate, California Chrome headline Pegasus World Cup workers

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Jen Caldwell

January 15th, 2017

Arrogate and California Chrome, the respective one-two finishers from the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), put in moves over the weekend to ready for a rematch in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on January 28.

The works took place on opposite ends of the country, with 2014 Horse of the Year and Kentucky Derby (G1) victor California Chrome breezing at Gulfstream on Saturday and record-setting Travers Stakes (G1) hero Arrogate taking a spin around Santa Anita Park on Sunday.

California Chrome covered five furlongs in 1:00.72 under regular exercise rider Dihigi Gladney. The work drew a crowd of onlookers, eager for a chance to get a glimpse of the popular Art Sherman trainee ahead of his final career start.

“This horse has a lot of supporters. I looked out there before the track closed for the break and I saw the people piling in. I said, ‘Look at this.’ The Chrome Community is strong everywhere,” Gladney said. “They love this horse everywhere we go.

“He’s been training early in the morning (before dawn), but he’s the type of horse when you take him out in the daylight, he looks around to see what’s going on,” Gladney added. “By the time I turned him around and he started jogging, he saw the crowd. He knows this is business. He loves the show.”

Arrogate worked late Sunday morning at Santa Anita Park, before the 1ST race went off, with jockey Martin Garcia aboard. Just like last weekend’s move, the four-year-old had company in the form of a fellow Bob Baffert charge while getting six furlongs in 1:12.29.

“It went well today, I could tell,” Baffert said. “With every work, he’s progressing. He’s getting closer. We’re starting to lean on him…Martin said he was picking it up late. It didn’t seem like he was going that fast but he was clicking right along.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way we’re coming into this. He’s right on schedule. We just need to keep him healthy. When you work on a muddy track (it was actually labeled fast), you’re always worried about their feet or something like that but…he travels really well over it. He really likes anything. Today, what I saw…I was really impressed.”

In other Pegasus World Cup news, Grade 2-placed Semper Fortis was originally scheduled to compete in the nine-furlong affair for Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill but will instead run on the undercard while stablemate and 2015 Hopeful Stakes (G1) winner Ralis takes his place in the Pegasus gate.

Over Santa Antia’s fast dirt on Sunday, Ralis worked six furlongs in 1:14.80 while Semper Fortis clocked three-quarters in 1:14.20.

Also working on Sunday were multiple Grade 2-placed stakes romper War Story, who was caught going six furlongs in 1:12.40 at Gulfstream Park West, and dual Group 2-placed War Envoy, who turned a half-mile in :47.20 at Santa Anita.

At Fair Grounds Sunday, last-out Clark Handicap (G1) scorer Gun Runner breezed six furlongs in 1:12.60. His participation in the race is in doubt due to the track being under quarantine for an outbreak of EHV-1.

Grade 1 winner Noble Bird, now under consideration for the Pegasus, clocked a bullet half-mile in :48.20 at Palm Meadows Training Center Sunday.

Multiple Argentinean Group 1 hero Eragon worked at Gulfstream Saturday, getting an official time of :49.93 for a half-mile breeze under jockey Edgar Prado, though trainer Laura Wohlers said the move was actually “an easy seven-eighths.”

“He started little slow in the first part but picked it up from the quarter-pole to the wire with a nice kick,” Prado said. “He galloped out good and came home good.”

“I thought he worked fine,” Wohlers said. “He hadn’t worked in a long time – since December 17 in Argentina. He worked an easy seven-eighths. Today was the fastest he’s gone in a month – since being stuck in quarantine.

“I’m happy with it and he seems to be cooling out good. He was blowing a little bit, but he caught his breath back pretty quick.”

Grade 1 winner and Canadian champion Shaman Ghost breezed a bullet five furlongs at Palm Meadows Training Center on Saturday in 1:01.90.

At Palm Beach Downs on Saturday, Grade 3 runner-up Neolithic breezed five-eighths in 1:00.80 and Grade 2 scorer Stanford traveled five panels in 1:01.60.

California Chrome photo courtesy of Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography
Arrogate photo courtesy of Benoit Photos