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Arrogate with Mike Smith prior to the 2016 Breeders' Cup Classic
SireUnbridled's Song
DamsireDistorted Humor
FoaledApril 11, 2013[1]
CountryUnited States
BreederClearsky Farms
OwnerJuddmonte Farms
TrainerBob Baffert
Record11: 7-1-1
Earnings$17,422,600 [2]
Major wins
Travers Stakes (2016)
Breeders' Cup Classic (2016)
Pegasus World Cup (2017)
Dubai World Cup (2017)
American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (2016)
IFHA World's Best Racehorse (2016&2017)
Timeform rating: 139[3]
Last updated on July 23, 2017

Arrogate (foaled April 11, 2013) is a retired American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2016 Travers Stakes in a track record in his first stakes appearance. He then won the Breeders' Cup Classic and was named the American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse and World's Best Racehorse of 2016. To start his four-year-campaign, he won the 2017 Pegasus World Cup in a new track record followed by a win in the Dubai World Cup. On returning to the United States however, he suffered three straight defeats and retired with a record of seven wins from eleven starts. Despite having only four stakes race wins, the large purses for these wins made him the all-time leading money earner in North America.


Arrogate is a gray horse bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms. As a yearling, the colt was consigned to the Keeneland September sale and was bought for $560,000 by Juddmonte Farms,[4] the racing operation of Khalid ibn Abdullah. Arrogate was sent into training with Bob Baffert in California. Arrogate's front teeth were knocked back as a yearling, probably after being kicked by another horse. One tooth became infected and was removed, which slows down his eating but otherwise has no impact.[5]

Arrogate was sired by the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Unbridled's Song, whose other major winners have included Will Take Charge, the sprinter Zensational and Breeders' Cup winners Unrivaled Belle and Unbridled Elaine.[6] Arrogate's dam Bubbler was a successful racemare who won six of her nine races.[7][8]

Racing career[edit]

2016: three-year-old season[edit]

Arrogate made his track debut in a six-furlong maiden race at Los Alamitos Race Course on April 17, 2016. Ridden by Martin Garcia, he started the odds-on favorite but finished third behind Westbrook and Accelerate. On June 5, he was moved up in distance and recorded his first victory in a maiden race over 1 116 miles (1.7 km) at Santa Anita Park, leading from the start and winning by two and a half lengths from Giant Expectations. He was partnered in this race by Rafael Bejarano, who rode him in his next two races. Nineteen days later, at the same track, Arrogate contested an allowance race against older horses and won again, beating Fusaichi Samurai by five and a quarter lengths after leading from start. On August 4, the colt appeared in an allowance race at Del Mar and started odd-on favorite against two older opponents. After racing in third place in the early running, he took the lead in the straight and won by one and three quarter lengths.[9]

On August 27, Arrogate was moved up sharply in class to contest the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in which his rivals included Exaggerator and Creator, winners respectively of the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Bejarano elected to ride another of Baffert's horses, American Freedom, so veteran jockey Mike Smith picked up the ride. Having drawn post position 1 in a large field, Arrogate was ridden hard from the starting gate and set fast opening fractions. As they turned into the stretch, he broke clear of his rivals, eventually winning by thirteen and a half lengths over his stablemate American Freedom, with Creator finishing seventh and Exaggerator eleventh.[10][11]

Arrogate (#10) overtook California Chrome (#4) in the final yards of the race to win the Breeders' Cup Classic

His final time of 1:59.36 for the 1 14 miles (2.0 km) distance eclipsed General Assembly's Travers and track record of 2:00 that had stood for 37 years. Baffert said, "You're always hoping that they're that good. I knew he was good, but I didn't know he was really, really that kind of good."[12] The horse earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 122 for his effort and became a contender for the year end Eclipse award.[13]

On November 5, Arrogate entered the Breeders' Cup Classic as the second favorite behind 5-year-old California Chrome. ‘Chrome led from the outset, while Arrogate tracked sitting third. The two horses engaged in the homestretch and in the final yards, Arrogate surged ahead to defeat California Chrome by a half a length at the finish. The two horses dominated the remainder of the field by over 10 lengths.[14] Art Sherman said of Arrogate, "That winner is the real McCoy, I knew he was the one we had to beat, but I didn't know how good he was."[15] Post race analysis gave California Chrome a Beyer Speed Figure of 119, the highest of his career, but Arrogate topped it with a 120.[16]

The race earned Arrogate the top position in the World's Best Racehorse Rankings published by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities on November 10 with a rating of 134, one point ahead of California Chrome.[17] Arrogate was voted the Eclipse Award as American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse.[18]

2017: four-year-old season[edit]

Arrogate was originally scheduled to begin his four-year-old campaign in the San Pasqual Stakes but heavy rains at Santa Anita caused Baffert to scratch from the race.[19] Instead, he trained Arrogate up to the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 28, 2017. The race was promoted as a final matchup with California Chrome, who was retiring to stud after the race. Both horses were compromised by the post position draw. Arrogate drew post position one and risked getting trapped along the rail in traffic. California Chrome drew the outside post position which caused him to be carried wide in the first turn. California Chrome eventually settled behind the early leaders alongside Arrogate but could not respond when the latter made his move, possibly having wrenched his leg early in the race. California Chrome was eased to prevent the possibility of further injury and finished ninth. Meanwhile, Arrogate swept to the lead and drew off to win by nearly five lengths over longshot Shaman Ghost.[20][21] The timing of the race proved controversial. The original time, measured by Trakus based on transmitters in the horses' saddlecloths, was 1:47.61. However, clocking experts hand-timed the race almost a second faster, at around 1:46.9. The timing controversy caused the Beyer Speed Figure for Arrogate to be increased from 116 to 119.[22] Gulfstream did a frame-by-frame video analysis and determined the correct time was 1:46.83, a new track record.[23]

Arrogate made his next start on March 25 in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse. He broke poorly and was then squeezed between other horses, causing him to drop to the back of the fourteen horse field. Baffert feared the colt had lost all chance but Mike Smith reacted calmly, saying later that he rode him like Zenyatta, who was famous for her closing kick. Once Arrogate recovered his stride, Smith took him to the outside of the field and started to steadily make up ground. When they entered the stretch, Arrogate started to close rapidly and moved by Gun Runner to win by ​2 14 lengths. On a track labeled as muddy, Arrogate completed the 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) (roughly 10 furlongs) in 2:02.23. His share of the $10 million purse took his career prize-winning to $17,084,600, a North American record. "Everybody who was here tonight is going to say, 'I'm glad I was here to see that,'" said Baffert. "If anybody wasn't super impressed with that, they just don't like horse racing. I still can't believe he won the race."[24]

After returning to the United States, Arrogate was given some time off then was entered in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 22 where he carried the top weight of 126 pounds. Heavily favored at odds of 1-20, his main rival in a field of five was Accelerate, whose main claim to fame was finishing second ahead of Arrogate in their April 2016 maiden race.[25] However, Arrogate unexpectedly finished fourth, over fifteen lengths behind Accelerate. Mike Watchmaker, a handicapper writing for the Daily Racing Form commented, "He lacked any interest in getting involved in the run to or around the first turn, and the little move he made on the far turn was actually an optical illusion."[26] Another writer called it the biggest upset in the history of Del Mar. "He gallops and works faster than that," said Smith. "I'm dumbfounded."[27]

Arrogate was next entered in the Pacific Classic on August 19, also at Del Mar. Facing off against six other horses, Arrogate stalked the pace set by his stablemate Collected for much of the race, then began to close in on him in the stretch. However, it was not enough to catch Collected, who won by half a length.[28] Following the race, Baffert said it felt "weird" that Collected had won and not Arrogate. "I feel like my older son was beaten by my younger son," he told the Daily Racing Form.[29]

Baffert trained Arrogate up to the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic on November 4, a layoff of over two months. Arrogate put in several good workouts at his training base in Santa Anita,[30] but handicappers were still concerned about his ability to handle the Del Mar track at which the Classic would be held.[31] Arrogate drew post position one for the race, and Smith announced his intention to be aggressive out of the starting gate in order to avoid being trapped on the rail. Arrogate was made the 2-1 second choice on the morning line behind Gun Runner, who had won three straight Grade I races since returning from Dubai.[32] Unfortunately, Arrogate ducked in at the start and lost ground to the rest of the field. He was never a factor in the race and finished in a dead heat for fifth, 7 1/2 lengths behind Gun Runner.[33]

Smith blamed the loss on Arrogate's dislike for the Del Mar surface. "He just won't run over here. I've tried to talk myself into thinking he would. He has just showed me time and time again that he wouldn't." Baffert said that Arrogate was "like a pitcher who can't find the plate. ... He's just not the horse he was."[33]

Race record[edit]

Date Race Grade Track Distance Odds Finish Time Margin Jockey Ref
April 17, 2016 Maiden Special Weight Maiden Los Alamitos 6 furlongs 0.5 3 1:09.14 (​34 length) Martin Garcia [34]
June 5, 2016 Maiden Special Weight Maiden Santa Anita Park 8 12 furlongs 0.90 1 1:41.80 4 12 lengths Rafael Bejarano [35]
June 24, 2016 Allowance Optional Claiming Allowance Santa Anita Park 8 12 furlongs 0.60 1 1:41.14 5 14 lengths Rafael Bejarano [36]
August 4, 2016 Allowance Optional Claiming Allowance Del Mar 8 12 furlongs 0.10 1 1:41.76 1 34 lengths Rafael Bejarano [37]
August 27, 2016 Travers Stakes I Saratoga 10 furlongs 11.70 1 1:59.36[a] 13 12 lengths Mike Smith [38]
November 5, 2016 Breeders' Cup Classic I Santa Anita Park 10 furlongs 1.70 1 2:00.11 12 length Mike Smith [39]
January 28, 2017 Pegasus World Cup I Gulfstream Park 9 furlongs 0.90 1 1:46.83[b] 4 34 lengths Mike Smith [40]
March 25, 2017 Dubai World Cup I Meydan Racecourse 10 furlongs 1 2:02.15 2 14 lengths Mike Smith [24]
July 22, 2017 San Diego Handicap II Del Mar 8 12furlongs 0.05 4 1:42.15 (​15 34 lengths) Mike Smith [41]
August 19, 2017 Pacific Classic I Del Mar 10 furlongs 0.70 2 2:00.70 (​12 length) Mike Smith [28]
November 4, 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic I Del Mar 10 furlongs 2.10 5 2:01.29 (​7 12 lengths) Mike Smith [42]
* Conversion of race distances
furlongs miles meters
6 34 1,207
8 12 1 116 1,710
9 1 18 1,811
10 1 14 2,012
  1. ^ New track record
  2. ^ New track record


Arrogate was retired following the Classic. Juddmonte Farm announced his fee for 2018 would be $75,000.[43]


Pedigree of Arrogate (USA), gray, 2013[1]
Unbridled's Song (USA)
Unbridled (USA)
Fappiano Mr Prospector
Gana Facil Le Fabuleux
Trolley Song (USA)
Caro Fortino
Lucky Spell Lucky Mel
Bubbler (USA)
Distorted Humor (USA)
Forty Niner Mr Prospector
Danzig's Beauty Danzig
Sweetest Chant
Grechelle (USA)
Deputy Minister Vice Regent
Mint Copy
Meadow Star Meadowlake
Inreality Star (Family: 16-g)[8]
  • Arrogate is inbred 4 × 4 to Mr Prospector, meaning that this stallion appears twice in the fourth generation of his pedigree.

See also[edit]

List of leading Thoroughbred racehorses


  1. ^ a b "Arrogate pedigree". Equineline. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  2. ^ "Arrogate Profile". Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Timeform Top Horses of All Time | Greatest Racehorses". Timeform. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Keeneland 2014 September Yearling Sale". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 2016-09-10. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  5. ^ Privman, Jay. "Hard to bad-mouth Arrogate". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Unbridled's Song Stud Record". Racing Post. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  7. ^ "Bubbler - Statistics". Equibase.
  8. ^ a b "Polly Agnes - Family 16-g". Retrieved 2012-04-09.
  9. ^ "Allowance Optional Claiming result". Racing Post. 4 August 2016.
  10. ^ Claire Novak (27 August 2016). "Arrogate Blazes to Travers Record". The Blood-Horse.
  11. ^ Drape, Joe (27 August 2016). "Against Distinguished Travers Field, a 'Freak' Wins by a Chasm". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Baffert Reflects on Arrogate's Travers Romp". The Blood-Horse. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  13. ^ Privman, Jay (September 2, 2016). "Arrogate just getting started". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  14. ^ Staff (November 5, 2016). "Santa Anita, November 5, 2016 – Race 12" (PDF). Equibase. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 7, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Novak, Claire (November 5, 2016). "Arrogate Upsets 'Chrome' in BC Classic". Blood Horse. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  16. ^ Privman, Jay (November 6, 2016). "Arrogate rallies past California Chrome in epic Breeders' Cup Classic". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  17. ^ "Arrogate New World Rankings Leader". Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  18. ^ Balan, Jeremy. "California Chrome Again Horse of the Year". Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  19. ^ Cherwa, John. "Arrogate to scratch from San Pasqual Stakes, points to Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  20. ^ Wincze Hughes, Alicia. "Arrogate Turns Pegasus World Cup Into One-Horse Show". Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  21. ^ Hoppert, Melissa (28 Jan 2017). "Arrogate Shows Off Against California Chrome in Pegasus World Cup". New York Times. Retrieved 28 Jan 2017.
  22. ^ Hegarty, Matt. "Figures for Pegasus changed due to possible timing glitch". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Pegasus Final Time Lowered to a Track Record". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Arrogate Last to First in Dubai World Cup". Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  25. ^ "Litfin: No Going Against Arrogate in San Diego". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  26. ^ Watchmaker, Mike. "Arrogate's lack of positional speed concerning". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  27. ^ Privman, Jay. "Arrogate fourth as Accelerate romps in stunning upset of San Diego Handicap | Daily Racing Form". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  28. ^ a b "2017 Pacific Classic chart". Equibase. August 19, 2017.
  29. ^ "Collected holds off Arrogate to give Baffert 1-2 finish in Pacific Classic | Daily Racing Form". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  30. ^ "Arrogate Looks Like Old Self in Bullet Work". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  31. ^ "Gun Runner, Arrogate post final works for Classic". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  32. ^ Posner, Jay (30 October 2017). "Breeders' Cup draw puts defending champion Arrogate in the No. 1 spot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  33. ^ a b "Gun Runner Untouchable in Breeders' Cup Classic". Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  34. ^ "Chart for April 17, 2016". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  35. ^ "Chart for June 5, 2016". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  36. ^ "Chart for June 24, 2016". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  37. ^ "Chart for August 4, 2016". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  38. ^ "Chart for the Travers Stakes". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  39. ^ "Chart for the Breeders' Cup Classic". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  40. ^ "Chart for the Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  41. ^ "Chart of the San Diego Handicap" (PDF). Equibase. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  42. ^ "2017 Breeders' Cup Classic chart" (PDF). Equibase. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  43. ^ "Arrogate's Fee Set at $75,000 for 2018". Retrieved 11 November 2017.