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Arcangelo Breezes at Saratoga; Travels to CA Next Week

Blue Rose Farm’s dual grade 1 winner Arcangelo  breezed five-eighths Sept. 22 over the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga Race Course in preparation for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park. He tops both the NTRA and Breeders’ Cup media rankings of horses pointed for the 1 1/4-mile race.

Trained by Jena Antonucci and piloted through the breeze by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, the Arrogate gray/roan ridgling worked five furlongs in 1:03.24.

A maiden winner at third asking in March at Gulfstream Park, Arcangelo won his stakes debut in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan Stakes (G3) in May at Belmont before taking the Belmont Stakes (G1) June 10 as Antonucci became the first female trainer to win a Triple Crown race. The 1 1/2-length score over reigning 2-year-old champion male Forte  provided Javier Castellano with his first win in the “Test of the Champion.”

Arcangelo trained up to the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (G1) Aug. 26 at Saratoga Race Course and 11 weeks after his Belmont coup he cemented his place atop the 3-year-old division with a one-length score over Disarm . The victory marked a record-extending seventh Travers score for Castellano.

Antonucci, who is currently in Florida where she has a number of horses entered at Gulfstream Park, watched video of Arcangelo’s Friday breeze, his second since the Travers. Previously, he worked a half-mile in :47.62 on Sept. 12 over the Saratoga main track.

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“Everything was good. It was what we were looking for—it was just a maintenance work today. It’s too soon for serious stuff,” Antonucci said. “He had one previous breeze after the race and this one is just maintaining bottom-line fitness for him.”

Antonucci said she was pleased that Castellano made the trip to Saratoga for the breeze as Arcangelo is slated to ship to California Sept. 27.

“I think it was important for Javier as well knowing our next move is out to California and that will make it harder for him,” Antonucci said. “He and Robert (Mallari, Arcangelo’s exercise rider) have a very good relationship and can communicate very well about how the horse is doing and feeling. I think it was good for everybody to let Javier get a good feel of him after the Travers and make sure he was happy with where everything is.”

Arcangelo, a $35,000 purchase at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, has banked in excess of $1.7 million with a 4-1-0 record from six starts.

“He does continue to mature and take his work very seriously,” Antonucci said. “I think he’s enjoying it and having a lot of fun with everything. Our focus is that he maintains that mindset and is thriving in what we’re asking of him.

“He’s a tall drink of water and you can physically see he continues to put more body on and hasn’t lost weight with the races,” Antonucci added. “So, he’ll just continue to mature out as he’s supposed to do.”

Bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation, Arcangelo is out of the Tapit   mare Modeling, whose second dam, Better Than Honour, produced Belmont Stakes winners Jazil and Rags to Riches.

This press release has been edited for content and style by BloodHorse Staff.

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