Breeders’ Cup Classic is the centrepiece of Breeders’ Cup World Championships. This two-day affair culminated with the Cup Classic race that was billed as the race between two of the best racing horses of the world namely Chrome and Arrogate. This scintillating $6 million prize money race was won by Arrogate though it must be said that Chrome was not lagging behind and the pair outpaced rest of the horses by more than 11 lengths.
California Chrome, the 5-year-old horse that was billed as the favourite, was the talk of the town before the start of the race. He had come here winning all his previous 6 races. However, this champion horse could not find an answer to the late surge of the 3-year-old Arrogate who had built high expectations after emerging victorious at Travers Stakes. The young champion had destroyed all competition at this race that was held recently.
It looked like it was going to be an easy victory for California Chrome who was in a clear lead during the last lap as he was cruising to the finish line under Victor Espinoza. However, Arrogate snatched victory from his mouth by surging past at the last moment to reach the finish line half a length clear under Mike Smith.
After the victory, Smith was all praise for the little champ. He said that Arrogate is a bundle of energy and possesses so much of stamina that he proved to be relentless by the end of the race. Smith rechristened Arrogate as Baby Le Bron after champion basketball player James Le Bron. Smith said that the horse was big and strong and he looked like he could go for another race after the finish.
This victory was special for Smith as it marked a double for him. Not only was this race his 25th victory at the Breeders’ Cup, but it also followed his win at the Filly & Mare Sprint. Interestingly, this win by Arrogate was the third straight win for his trainer Bob Baffert. He is the man who guided American Pharaoh and Bayern to victories in the last two editions of the race. But Bob gave all the credit to Smith saying this is the reason why everyone calls him big-money Mike. He confessed that he had given up all hopes as California Chrome was in a clear lead at the finish line. Bob says he is not excitable, but this race was so exciting that it was proving hard to control his emotions.
It was California Chrome who was all set to win the race when he turned onto the last straight. Rider Victor Espinoza said that he cannot praise the efforts put in by Chrome enough and he is really proud of him. The trainer of the horse, Art Sherman, said that Chrome put in all he had into the race and he is still the best horse around. The next race in which Chrome will take part will be Pegasus World Cup which is billed as the richest race in the world.