Race horse Arrogate
Arrogate before the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Collected held off the strong late challenge of his record-setting stablemate Arrogate to win the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar Saturday.

Arrogate, thoroughbred racing’s North American career money record holder with more than $17 million in purses, was in third entering the stretch, passed Accelerate, but was unable to catch Collected, the winner by a half- length.

“When I asked him at the top of the stretch, he was running 100 percent worth,” Collected’s jockey Martin Garcia said. “I hit him a few times, but he was giving me his all. 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.”

Arrogate’s jockey Mike Smith said the dark gray 4-year-old “was a lot better today than last time,” but “just not good enough.”

Arrogate was seeking redemption for his fourth-place finish in the TVG San Diego Handicap July 22 when he was beaten by 15 1/4 lengths by Accelerate after going off as the 1-20 favorite, losing in the biggest upset in Del Mar’s history.

“Arrogate, at least he tried today,” said Bob Baffert, the trainer of both Arrogate and Collected. “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.”

Accelerate, who had won all three of his previous starts at Del Mar, “had pressure from both sides” and “I had to use him a little bit more early,” jockey Victor Espinoza said.

“That probably cost us,” Espinoza said. “But he ran big.”

Collected, the co-second choice at 3-1 with Accelerate, paid $8, $2.80 and $2.20 for his fourth consecutive victory. Arrogate, the 3-5 favorite, returned $2.60 and $2.10. Accelerate paid $2.20 to show.

The victory guaranteed Collected a spot in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic which will be run Nov. 4 at Del Mar.

Collected ran the 1 1/4-mile race on dirt in 2:00.70 before a crowd announced at 23,509 that included Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who brought the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The first prize money of $600,000 increased the 4-year-old’s career earnings to $1,260,500.

Each of the seven horses in the 27th edition of Del Mar’s richest and most prestigious race carried 124 pounds according to the weight-for-age conditions in effect.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.