Arrogate Stands Out In San Diego Handicap Return
By Margaret Ransom
When the field for Saturday’s $300,000 TVG San Diego Handicap (GII) at Del Mar was drawn on Wednesday, not too many people were surprised to learn that only five will line up and face Juddmonte Farms’ handicap division leader Arrogate. North America’s richest racehorse, with more than $17 million in earnings, the big gray colt hasn’t started since his impressive last-to-first romp in the March 25 Dubai World Cup (GI) at Meydan in the middle of the Middle Eastern desert, but he at last is gearing up for a probable start in the Aug. 19 Pacific Classic (GI) and will eventually defend his title in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) when it is renewed for the 33rd time on Nov. 4 over Del Mar’s main track.
The weather in Solana Beach is expected to be typically beautiful on Saturday, with afternoon highs in the upper 70s and the sea breeze, as always, keeping conditions cool. The intense humidity from earlier in the week is expected to subside and an ideal day of racing is on tap.
The San Diego Handicap has become the major local prep race for Del Mar’s signature event, the $1 million Pacific Classic, but long before California-bred fan favorite Best Pal won the inaugural Pacific Classic 27 years ago, the San Diego was consistently featuring some of the West Coast’s best handicap horses.
Named for California’s premiere southern city, the San Diego Handicap was first run in the track’s first season in 1937 and has grown in prominence and stature on the national racing scene in recent years.
The great California-bred gelding… (more)