Miller: Arrogate goes out as a fading star in a Classic setting
By Jeff Miller
DEL MAR – It was a two-horse race Saturday, Gun Runner holding off the extended charge of Collected to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The presence of a fading giant, however, made it a three-horse story, Arrogate finishing his career in a dead heat – according to official race photos – for fifth place, as if anyone wants a picture to remember that.
“He’s just losing interest,” trainer Bob Baffert said of the horse not long ago being compared to the sport’s legends. “He’s run so many incredible races that I really think he’s just losing interest. It’s time.”
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And so it is, Arrogate entering retirement on a three-race losing streak following a seven-month stretch during which he broke records, the hearts of competitors and nearly the bank.
He leaves not as Kobe Bryant gloriously scoring 60 points in an otherwise meaningless game, but as Shaquille O’Neal barely contributing as Boston is eliminated from the playoffs.
Yeah, this sight was that deflating, as tough to watch as Shaq in Celtics green.
“He’s one of the greatest horses I’ve ever trained,” Baffert said. “He just took a step back. He’s so much better than that. It’s just really disappointing to see him go out like that because we know how great he is.”
The greatness now shifts formerly to Gun Runner, who took the lead early and made this race his own classic.
Pushed by Collected, he looked remarkably comfortable for a horse flying at dangerous speeds.
“He knows what his job is,” […]