The $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on Aug. 19 produced a Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduate trifecta, with the winner a mild surprise.
Speedway Stable's Collected earned his first Grade 1 victory with a half-length score over his famous stablemate Arrogate, while Accelerate – upset winner over Arrogate in the July 22 San Diego Handicap (G2) – rounded out the top three.
Collected, a 4-year-old colt by City Zip out of the Johannesburg mare Helena Bay (GB), was a $150,000 purchase at the 2014 September Sale from the consignment of Runnymede Farm, who bred him with Peter Callahan.
“Collected wasn't the biggest colt on the farm, but mentally he was very well-balanced,” said Romain Malhouitre, Runnymede’s vice president and general manager. “He really started getting confidence once we started (sales) prep. He discovered himself. He got a lot of action at the sale. All the pinhookers loved him and the way he was walking.
“We haven’t come down from the clouds (following the Pacific Classic win),” he said. “We've been waiting for him to have his shot in a Grade 1 after (winning the June 24 Precisionist-G3 by 14 lengths and the April 22 Californian-G2 by 3¾ lengths). He has good cruising speed and can stay.”
Collected's half-brother by Lookin At Lucky sells as Hip 314 from the Runnymede consignment at the upcoming September Sale. “Mentally they are the same,” Malhouitre said when asked to compare the two horses. “Never fussy. When we starting prepping, (the Lookin At Lucky colt) acts the same, very confident in himself. The timing couldn't be better.”
In the Pacific Classic, Collected nabbed the early lead under Martin Garcia while Accelerate stayed close and Arrogate settled in third. They stayed in that formation through the first three-quarters of the 1¼-mile race before Collected started to pull away. Arrogate found his best stride in the last furlong and came with a rush, but couldn't get there in time, falling a half-length short. Bob Baffert trains both Collected and Arrogate.
Collected is undefeated in his four races this season and has won eight of his 11 lifetime starts, including the 2016 Lexington (G3) at Keeneland. After winning his career debut in October 2015 at Santa Anita, Collected has made every start stakes company. The Pacific Classic victory secured his spot in the starting gate for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) on Nov. 4 at Del Mar.