Arrogate stars as Chrome flops

Arrogate won the inaugural Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park as California Chrome's career ended in disappointment.

The trophy for the $12 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational

The pair had finished first and second in the Breeders' Cup Classic in November and Arrogate had ended the year as the world's highest rated horse.

He began 2017 in scintillating fashion with a wide margin success in the US$12 million invitational event but a little gloss was taken off the race with California Chrome failing to run his race on his final start before retirement.

Winning jockey Mike Smith admitted that racegoers didn't see 'the real California Chrome'.

California Chrome was caught wide at the first turn but soon got across towards the inside of the track and raced alongside Arrogate in third and fourth as they tracked the pace.

Smith was the first to make his move as they passed the half mile pole and was soon at the head of affairs but when Victor Espinoza asked California Chrome for a response there was none forthcoming.

What remained was little more than a victory parade for Arrogate as he was out on his own in the straight, finishing clear of Shaman Ghost and Neolithic.

Smith said: "Another incredible performance. We used the first turn to our advantage. I could catch Victor out of the corner of my eye and he had me right where he wanted me but Chrome just didn't fire in his race at all.

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"That's not the California Chrome I know, he would have been on top of me.

"I was able to trip out and I was gone after that. With all due respect to the other horses I was able to gear down in the last couple of hundred yards.

"Getting out was the anxious part but the first turn was great, getting out and letting him stretch his legs because that's what he's good at. He's got some turn of foot, he's got some stride and if you let him use it to his advantage – why not?"

Speaking on At The Races, California Chrome's trainer Art Sherman was magnanimous in defeat.

"He didn't look real comfortable, he didn't break as sharp as he usually does and he got hung up so wide," he said.

"Down the backside he had no excuse, he got settled in but he didn't have that oomph today that he usually kicks in with at the 3/8 pole.

"He looked like he was listless, I don't know why. It's the first bad race he's ever run.

"We've had a great run. I congratulate Bob Baffert, that horse really is a super nice horse and I can't say enough about him. We;ll see, he's going to the breeding shed and I'm hoping his babies come back to me.

"It's been one hell of a journey for me."

Baffertwas visibly overcome and said: "I'm so relieved, down the backside he was trapped but when he started making that move, I knew right there. What a superior horse he is.

"I feel bad about California Chrome, he didn't bring his race today and that match up never came about.

"It's great to be here. It's great for Juddmonte. I'm a little emotional."

Read More at Sporting Life

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