Accelerate stuns heavy favorite Arrogate at Del Mar
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Accelerate stunned overwhelming favorite Arrogate to win the $300,000 San Diego Handicap by 8 1/2 lengths on Saturday at Del Mar, snapping the seven-race winning streak of the world's top-ranked horse.
Arrogate finished third, beaten by 15 1/4 lengths under jockey Mike Smith in the 4-year-old colt's return to racing after a nearly four-month layoff.
His trainer, Bob Baffert, said Arrogate ''laid an egg'' and nothing is wrong with the colt other than he appeared flat.
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Accelerate ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.15 and paid $17.60, $32.60 and $22 as the 7-1 second choice in the field of five.
Donworth, a 24-1 shot, returned $119.80 and $67.40. His payoffs were a track record, bettering the old mark of $101.60 and $40.20 set by Cipria on Sept. 1, 1955.
Arrogate paid $38.20 to show. All but $214,466 of the $2,671,938 total win, place and show pool wagering was bet on him.
Arrogate's winning streak included the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic last year, the $12 million Pegasus World Cup and the $10 million Dubai World Cup. He earned $18,000, boosting his career total to $17,102,600, a North American record.
It wasn't the first time Baffert had led a world-beater to the track only to watch him lose.
That's what happened in 2015, when American Pharoah was stunned by Keen Ice in the Travers barely two months after becoming horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 37 years.
''That's why my hair is white,'' Baffert quipped after the race.
Under the race's handicap conditions, Arrogate carried high weight of 126 pounds, spotting Accelerate nine pounds. But Baffert said the weight difference had nothing to do with the result.
Heading to the rail before the race, Accelerate's trainer, John Sadler, said he thought the race would be closer than people thought.
Accelerate led all the way. Smith had Arrogate last through the opening half-mile before they began making their move. But Arrogate never threatened while Accelerate cruised to the finish line in front of a shocked crowd at the seaside oval north of San Diego.
Arrogate will have a chance to turn the tables in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 19, when the two colts are expected to square off again.