2017 TVG Pacific Classic Picks
Aberration or no?
Arrogate is one of the most freakish talents to grace a racetrack in a long time and his impressive credentials speak for themselves, making the four year-old’s disinterested fourth-place finish in the San Diego Handicap July 22 all the more puzzling. In short, he looked unbeatable – until he was beaten convincingly by Accelarate and two other horses who had no business beating him.
Now, the Big A finds himself in an unexpected role and a precarious situation. Win impressively and all is forgotten and it’s on to the Breeders’ Cup Classic where he’ll be the heavy favorite, but another head-scratching defeat could well signal the beginning of the end of the four year-old’s meteoric rise and perhaps his career. Such are the sudden crossroads in thoroughbred racing. Arrogate has trained impressively at Del Mar since the loss, but great horses generally do train in such a manner. The racing world won’t know for sure until the gates spring open and the field completes its mile and a quarter journey around seaside oval.
Accelerate Loves Del Mar
Awaiting Arrogate are seven rivals, including Accelarate who has actually finished ahead of Arrogate in each of the big horse’s two career losses. To be clear, Accelerate probably doesn’t breathe the same air as Arrogate when each is in top form, and neither does the rest of this field. That said though, Accelerate is a nice horse finding his best stride six races into his four year-old year. He’s 3 for 3 at Del Mar and that may be the most important handicapping factor to consider as Arrogate has shown dominance everywhere but Del Mar.
There was the recent loss obviously, but also a workman like win last June where the big gray won by a length and three quarters – the shortest margin of victory in his career other than the half-length victory in the 2016 Breeeders’ Cup Classic over the great California Chrome.
From a handicapping perspective, Arrogate (1/1 ML) can only be viewed as a single or play-against. Those willing to take a swing against the champ are no doubt buoyed by his last race and once again stand to make a handsome profit if he fails to fire. Trainer Bob Baffert has voiced recent confidence in Arrogate, but will also saddle Collected (5/2 ML), who is coming off three straight wins at Santa Anita including a pair of graded stakes scores.
Bettors will likely send Arrogate to post much lower than his even-money morning line – probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 2/5. Collected and Accelerate are talented runners and both show tremendous recent form. Bettors willing to lay down win money on either – or key on top of the exacta are in a position to make some coin. The race will almost assuredly be won by one of the big three and it would be no surprise to see them run 1-2-3.
TGV Classic Picks
- 1st: #8 Arrogate
- 2nd: #2 Collected
- 3rd: #3 Accelerate
Category : Picks and Parlays
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