Exotic plays with Arrogate

Profile Picture: James Scully

July 22nd, 2017

Arrogate, the world’s top-ranked horse, returns to action in Saturday’s San Diego H. (G2). Scheduled for 9:03 p.m. (ET), the 1 1/16-mile race attracted five undistinguished challengers and Arrogate should be 1-9 on the tote board as he seeks his eighth straight victory.

The Bob Baffert-trained son of Unbridled’s Song captured his previous start at Del Mar, an allowance race last summer, and while the cutback to 8 ½ furlongs can be viewed as perhaps a minor concern given his late-running ways in the 1 ¼-mile Dubai World Cup (G1), rallying last-to-first in a 14-horse field, Arrogate captured the Travers (G1) wire-to-wire last summer and displayed good tactical speed posting a convincing tally in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) two back.

He’s capable of racing within striking range under Mike Smith before overpowering rivals. I will try to make a profit with a $100 bankroll playing exotics with Arrogate.

Exacta ($30): #2 El Huerfano exits a sharp front-running win for Peter Miller, proving much the best over allowance foes at Santa Anita on June 17, and registered a 99 BRIS Speed that is the top last-out figure excluding Arrogate. The longest shot on the San Diego morning line at 12-1, the 5-year-old gelding has posted terrific Early Pace numbers in recent starts and could be the controlling speed under Evin Roman.

I think El Huerfano can hold for second and will play a straight $30 exacta in race 9 underneath Arrogate (3-2).

Pick 4 ($24): The Pick 4 sequence (races 7-10) opens with a 2-year-old maiden and I will use three promising firsters (3-4-9), hoping to catch more value in the following legs.

I am against the expected favorites in race 8. #1 Bombilate (8-1 morning line) shows quick works for his North American debut and looms as a forwardly-placed threat for Jim Cassidy and Gary Stevens. #2 Rutile (12-1) has displayed a big late kick in a pair of dirt starts and the regally-bred colt has the pedigree to relish the switch to turf. #6 All That Heart (8-1) fits well in this spot for Mark Glatt and #7 Lady Tapit (20-1) has a chance to outrun expected long odds in her second turf attempt.

Race 10, a turf maiden, concludes the sequence and I will recommend a pair in #2 Divisor (8-1) and #11 Awesome Heights (12-1). Divisor showed little in two dirt attempts but it was no surprise to see him improve with a third in his turf debut last time -- the Phil D’Amato-trained colt is from the female family of multiple turf champion Gio Ponti. I expect him to show more today. Awesome Heights has stepped up with encouraging efforts in last two starts, offering a nice turn of foot to strike the front in midstretch most recently, and the 3-year-old colt will be forwardly-placed for a hot Neil Drysdale barn that has a win, a second and a third from four starts this meet. Kent Desormeaux teamed with Drysdale to win the Osunitas Stakes on Friday and Awesome Heights looks poised to offer a strong showing.

Playing a $1 Pick 4 part-wheel (two 50-cent tickets) that cost $24 beginning in race 7:

3,4,9 with 1,2,6,7 with 3 with 2,11

Late Double ($40): $20 daily doubles in race 9 with Arrogate over Divisor and Awesome Heights (3 over 2,11).

Enjoy the San Diego!