where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2017-08-20 07:47:27  
Arrogate beaten again, Stable Mate wins

Collected, masterfully rated on the lead by jockey Martin Garcia, gamely held off the strong late challenge of stablemate Arrogate, the 3-5 favorite, to win the 27th running of the Grade I $1 million Pacific Classic Saturday at Del Mar.

Collected, owned by the Speedwell Stable and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, reached the wire a half-length in front of Arrogate, who closed fast under jockey Mike Smith to narrow the gap nearing the finish. Accelerate, winner of the San Diego Handicap in which Arrogate was a mystifying fourth, was third, three and three-quarter lengths behind Arrogate, with Curlin Road fourth in the field of seven older horses. Sorry Erik was withdrawn from the original line-up.

Collected, a four-year-old son of City Zip, was scoring his fourth straight victory, including a 14-length romp in the Precisionist at Santa Anita. He was co-second choice at 3-1 with Accelerate and returned $8, $2.80 and $2.20. Arrogate, North America’s all-time leading money-winner with earnings of $17 million, paid $2.60 and $2.10, while Accelerate paid $2.20 to show.

Over-all, it was Collected’s eighth win in eleven starts and first money of $600,000 increased the horse’s bankroll to $1,260,500. He also provided Baffert with his fifth Pacific Classic victory. It was Garcia’s second score in the race.

Time for the mile and one-quarter 2:00.70.

The TVG Pacific Classic is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic which will be presented at Del Mar Saturday, Nov. 4. Thus, Collected earned a spot in that mile and one-quarter contest.

MARTIN GARCIA (Collected, winner) – “I liked where I was all the way around there. I could tell how fast we were going and my horse was relaxed. He felt so good, all the way around. When I asked him at the top of the stretch, he was running 100% worth. I hit him a few times, but he was giving me his all. I could feel Mike’s horse (Arrogate) coming. It was like an animal creeping up behind me. But we had enough to get it done.”

MIKE SMITH (Arrogate, second) – “If he just improves a little bit, we’ll be all right. He was a lot better today than last time; just not good enough.”

VICTOR ESPINOZA (Accelerate, third) – “He had pressure from both sides today and I had to use him a little bit more early. That probably cost us. But he ran big.”

FLAVIEN PRAT (Curlin Road, fourth) – “It was a good race for him. No excuses.”

SANTIAGO GONZALEZ (Hard Aces, fifth) – “He tried. That’s all you can ask.”

COREY NAKATANI (Royal Albert Hall, sixth) – “He was in a good spot early, then I ran out of horse.”

MARIO GUTIERREZ (Donworth, seventh) – “He seemed to be going OK, then at the end he had no fire.”

BOB BAFFERT (Collected, winner and Arrogate 2nd) – “Arrogate, at least he tried today. He’s getting there, but I think that when I ran him in the San Diego it messed up his psyche a little bit. I don’t think I have a problem bringing him back in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. But he’s got to be fresh, just like Collected came in here fresh. And Collected is a very good horse.”

OWNER PETER FLUOR (Collected, winner) – “Obviously, this is a big thrill. Arrogate is a legend and I’m a great fan. I guess you’d say I’m a bit humbled by all of this, but very proud to beat Arrogate. When I have a cocktail tonight, I’ll say Collected is a special horse too.”

FRACTIONS: :23.76 :47.19 1:11.06 1:35.27 2:00.70

The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Garcia, but his second in the TVG Pacific Classic (Game On Dude, 2013). He now has 27 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Baffert, but his fifth in the TVG Pacific Classic. He now has a Del Mar leading 122 stakes victories.

This is the first TVG Pacific Classic starter and winner for Speedway Stable, which is the nom de course of the Houston-based partnership of Peter and Ann Flour and Kane C. Weiner. 

Del Mar 

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