Trainer Bob Baffert says it is time for Arrogate to retire from racing following a disappointing run at the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar.
Arrogate, the all-time leading money winner among North American thoroughbreds and last year’s Classic champion, never threatened winner Gun Runner on Saturday (Sunday AEDT), finishing fifth in the 11-horse race.
“I hate to make any excuses for the big horse but he’s just not the horse he was,” Baffert said.
“He’s just losing interest and I think that’s what it is. He’s run so many incredible races that I really think he’s just losing interest. That’s what it is. It’s time (for him to retire).”
In a stellar 2016, Arrogate won the Travers Stakes in his first stakes appearance, defeated the vaunted California Chrome in the Classic and was named IFHA’s World’s Best Racehorse.
The grey colt, who is owned by Juddmonte Farms, went on to win the Pegasus World Cup and pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind win at Dubai World Cup this year.
He came into Saturday’s race in a slump, having lost his past two starts, both at Del Mar.
“He struggles over this track, but when I got him up to Santa Anita, I thought maybe,” Baffert added.
Despite the loss, two of Baffert’s three other horses performed well.
Four-year-old Collected ran second and put pressure on the speedy Gun Runner down the straight while three-year-old West Coast finished third.