DEL MAR, Calif., (August 19, 2017) - Speedway Stable’s (Peter Fluor) 4-year-old Collected held off stablemate and World No. 1 ranked racehorse Arrogate by a half-length to win Saturday’s 1 ¼ mile, $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (G1`) at Del Mar and became the fourth horse to earn an automatic berth into this year’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 81 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held this year for the first time at Del Mar, near San Diego, on November 3-4.
Collected ($8.00) a chestnut son of City Zip, trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia, joins the 4-year-old Gun Runner, the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) and Whitney (G1) winner, the 5-year-old Gold Dream (JPN), who captured the February Stakes (G1) at Tokyo Race Course, and the 3-year-old Girvin, winner of the Betfair.com Haskell Invitational (G1) as the first four horses to earn an automatic berth in to the 1¼- mile $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic this year.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders’ Cup will pay the pre-entry and entry fees for Collected to start in the Classic.
Breaking from the second post position in the seven horse field, Collected took the lead from the start and maintained a half-length advantage over San Diego Handicap winner Accelerate through the first mile in 1:35.27. Collected increased his margin to 2 ½ lengths in the stretch before Arrogate, ridden by Mike Smith, started to make a late drive to the wire. The defending Breeders’ Cup Classic winner did not get rolling until the eighth pole, passing Accelerate, and closing the gap on Collected but not enough to catch Collected. Accelerate finished third followed by Curlin Road, Hard Aces Royal Albert Hall (GB) and Donworth. Collected, bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm and Peter J. Callahan, completed the 1 ¼ miles in 2:00.70 over a fast track. Sorry Erik was a late scratch.
Arrogate lost his second consecutive race after finishing fourth in the San Diego Handicap as the 1-20 favorite on July 22. Prior to that, Arrogate had won seven consecutive races, including Travers Stakes, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the Pegasus World Cup and the Dubai World Cup to become the all-time North American leading money-earner with more than $17 million.
Assessing his two runners after the race, Baffert said “Arrogate, at least he tried today. He’s getting there, but I think that when I ran him in the San Diego it messed up his psyche a little bit. I don’t think I have a problem bringing him back in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. But he’s got to be fresh, just like Collected came in here fresh. And Collected is a very good horse.”
“I liked where I was all the way around there,” commented Garcia about Collected. “I could tell how fast we were going and my horse was relaxed. He felt so good, all the way around. When I asked him at the top of the stretch, he was running 100% worth. I could feel Mike’s horse (Arrogate) coming. It was like an animal creeping up behind me. But we had enough to get it done.”
Collected remained unbeaten this year with his fourth consecutive win and improved his career mark to eight wins in 11 career starts. Collected came into the Pacific Classic off a14 length win in the 1 1/16-mile Precisionist Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita on June 24. Prior to that, he won the 1 1/8 mile Californian on April 22 and the Santana Mile on April 1. As a 3-year-old Collected won the both the Sham Stakes (G3) and the Lexington Stakes (G3). He finished 10th in the Preakness Stakes (G1).
“Obviously, this is a big thrill,” said Collected’s owner Peter Fluor. “Arrogate is a legend and I’m a great fan. I guess you’d say I’m a bit humbled by all of this, but very proud to beat Arrogate. When I have a cocktail tonight, I’ll say Collected is a special horse too.”
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 Grade I races with purses and awards totaling more than $28 million, will be held November 3-4 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. The Breeders’ Cup culminates with the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which was rated No. 1 in the world in the final 2016 Longines World’s Best Horse Race rankings. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.