Bob Baffert is hoping to get the luck of the draw with Arrogate in his bid to scoop the pool in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Florida on January 28.
Baffert believes a wide draw would seriously compromise Arrogate’s chances as it is such a short run to the first turn.
The eagerly-awaited race is set to feature a second showdown between Arrogate and California Chrome after Baffert’s charge came out on top in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November.
“Florida is very speed-favoured. You’ve got to be pretty close there,” Baffert told At The Races.
“You have to be close there and I think California Chrome is the same way. We’re used to that and that’s the way I train the horse.
“The break is very important. In these big races, when you have a large field, post position can be really important at Gulfstream because if you’re in 11 or 12 it can be a disadvantage as they break right near the turn. It’s a very short run to the turn.”
Baffert believes Arrogate is still improving, saying: “I think he’s going to get better. His biggest weapon is his stride. He’s got a tremendous stride, he’s got a tremendous kick and he does have speed. Out of the blocks, he doesn’t fire away from there.
“The main thing is if your horse is doing well. As a three-year-old, Arrogate ran down a really good horse like California Chrome.
“It takes a super horse to do something like that and he’s getting better and better.
“I was really fortunate to get a serious work into him the other day to keep him progressing and to stay on course for the Pegasus.
“So far, everything looks good. It’s like anything. When you’re pointing to the Derby or to the Breeders’ Cup, there are going to be those moments. At this stage everybody’s on pins and needles trying to get to the big dance, but so far we’re looking good.”
When asked if the Dubai World Cup might be on Arrogate’s agenda after the Pegasus, Baffert said: “I don’t know. We’re one race at a time, one day at a time. That’s the way we work.
“I don’t get too ahead of myself. I’m not one to plan out. I just wait and decide on my gut feeling what we’re going to do.”