by Jerry Shottenkirk
August 19, 2017
One race can change your view of a horse, and we’ll see where people stand in regard to Arrogate. He is set today to come back from a shocking fourth-place finish in the San Diego Handicap.
This wasn’t a hold-your-breath, driving finish type-of-upset. This was a fourth-in-a-five-horse-field loss. This was a 15-length defeat.
But anyone who completely dismisses Arrogate in today’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic must be very confident in their skills, as well as Arrogate’s (or apparent lack thereof if they feel that way). You probably won’t run into many who do that. But the Pacific Classic has a top-notch field, perhaps among the two or three best gatherings for the older division this year, and brings with it some very fast horses that can carry their speed a long distance.
Perhaps Accelerate’s dominant performance in the San Diego Handicap should stamp him as the horse to beat. However, his fractional times on the front end of :23 2-5, :47 and 1:11 2-5 – made him impossible to catch as he opened up by seven lengths and won by eight.
But, as we know, each race is its own challenge, puzzle if you will. They often develop differently and changes are really good that this one will develop with a faster pace than the San Diego, thanks to the appearance of Collected.
If they all run the same race as they did last time out, there’s little doubt here that Collected will win. He looked like Precisionist in a 14-length win in yes, the Precisionist, at Santa Anita. He went very fast, ran off from an early challenger and was dominant. The third-place finisher was Accelerate, whose recovery in the San Diego Handicap was dazzling.
In handicapping the Del Mar Pick 4, I used all three of the top contenders. You may not have it in your heart that you must use all three. But looking at each of their last-out performances, Collected is a must. Arrogate, too, is a must. It was a bad day last time. You have to ask yourself if you want to leave off your ticket a winner of $17 million. Accelerate earned his way onto the ticket with the San Diego win, which was just surprising, but eye-opening.
This is NOT an easy Pick Four. The races are very strong. Going for the third consecutive Pick Four in this space, a little more is required in size of ticket that it was in the last two.
Race 8: #2 Collected, #3 Accelerate, #8 Arrogate. (2-3-8)
Race 9: #5 Dangerfield, #8 Americanize, #10 Edwards Going Long. (5-8-10).
Race 10: #2 Madam Dancealot, #3 Blame It On Alphie, #5 Con Te Partiro, #10 Dream Dancing, #11 Pacific Wind. (2-3-5-10-11).
Race 11: #2 Hailey Rachele, #8 Laynee (2-8).
50-cent Late Pick 4: 2-3-8 with 5-8-10 with 2-3-5-10-11 with 2-8 ($45).