Collected holds off Arrogate in $1 million Pacific Classic

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DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Collected beat 3-5 favorite Arrogate by a half-length in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Saturday, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a 1-2 finish at Del Mar.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Collected ran 1 1/4 miles for the first time in 2:00.70 at the seaside track north of San Diego. He paid $8, $2.80 and $2.20 as the 3-1 second choice.

The 4-year-old chestnut colt held off the furious late rush of Arrogate, the richest thoroughbred in racing history who was trying to bounce back from a stunning fourth-place finish in the San Diego Handicap last month on the same track. That defeat snapped Arrogate’s seven-race winning streak.

“It was just a mistake to run him in the San Diego,” Baffert said. “I was so eager, like everybody else, to watch him run again.”

Arrogate returned $2.60 and $2.10 as the overwhelming 3-5 favorite. He has seven wins in 10 career starts and earnings of over $17 million.

Accelerate, who beat Arrogate by 15 1/4 lengths in the San Diego, was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third. He paid $2.20.

Baffert earned his fifth Pacific Classic victory, one behind the late Bobby Frankel. He watched the race on the big video board in the paddock rather than in the stands and stared at the screen with arms folded when Arrogate came up short yet again.

“He ran a good race, but we expect to see something else,” Baffert said.

Collected led all the way, while Accelerate chased him in second and Arrogate stalked them both in the third spot.

Coming down the stretch, Arrogate rallied hard with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith furiously working his whip on both sides.

“Better than the last one, but it’s not good enough,” Smith said. “He’s not running his A race. I’m not even sure he’s running his B race, to be honest with you, and he’s still only getting beat a little bit.”

Collected became the first 4-year-old to win since Richard’s Kid in 2009. The colt is 4-0 this year.

Curlin Road, co-owned by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, finished fourth in the seven-horse field. Hard Aces was fifth, followed by Royal Albert Hall and Donworth, who was second in the San Diego.

In other stakes:

– Hunt found a hole on the rail and rallied to win the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap by 3 1/4 lengths to earn a berth in the BC Turf in November. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Ireland-bred Hunt ran 1 3/8 miles on turf in 2:14.93 and paid $8.80 to win at 3-1 odds. Itsinthepost, the 5-2 favorite, was second. Flamboyant was another head back in third.

Stradivarius, 3-time Ascot Gold Cup winner, retired to stud

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LONDON – Stradivarius, one of the most famous racehorses in Britain and Ireland after winning the Gold Cup at Ascot three times, has been retired to stud.

Bjorn Nielsen, the owner of Stradivarius, said he felt it would be unfair to make the horse come back next season as a 9-year-old after time away with a bruised foot.

“It has been a fairytale from start to finish,” Nielsen told British newspaper The Racing Post.

Stradivarius, bred in Ireland and the son of Sea The Stars, won 20 of his 35 races – including seven Group One races – and earned almost 3.5 million pounds (now $3.8 million) in prize money.

Stradivarius won four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups.

Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

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BENSALEM, Pa. – Taiba won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by three lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Taiba ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.67 and paid $4.80, $3 and $2.60.

It was Baffert’s fourth win in the Grade 1 event at Parx Racing. He also won in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Smith won the race for the third time, all aboard Baffert horses.

Zandon returned $3.80 and $2.60. Cyberknife was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show.

Taiba was coming off a second-place finish in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in July. The colt was 12th in the Kentucky Derby under Tim Yakteen, who took over training him while Baffert was serving a 90-day suspension.

“He had a little bit of a rough trip in the Haskell, but we had some time to get him ready for this one,” Baffert said from his base in California. “He proved today he is a good horse. He is getting better and better.”

Baffert Taiba will be pointed toward the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The colt has three wins in five starts this year.