Arrogate – spectacular in the Dubai World Cup

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March 26th

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the transitive verb Arrogate: “to claim or seize without justification.” It makes a great name for a racehorse. But I am not sure it applies to the Bob Baffert-trained horse named Arrogate. 

Lost in this weekend national college hoops frenzy was a totally impressive performance yesterday by the #1 ranked horse in the world–Arrogate–in the Dubai World Cup (shown below). Arrogate got off to a poor start. When I initially saw this, I thought he surely would get beat today because he is going to have to win with a closer race style that he was unaccustomed to. But Arrogate proves once again to be a very special horse and Mike Smith a great jockey.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who trained the first Grand Slam Champion of thoroughbred racing in 

American Pharoah, hinted in a post-race interview that Arrogate is possibly the best racehorse since Secretariat. As someone who was would normally want to attack such a claim, I was not totally prepared at that moment to disagree. The first thing that popped into my head was the fact that Man o’War and Secretariat were both reddish chestnut colts. Arrogate is a gray or roan colt. That is extremely weak, I know, but its the best I had at the moment.

Arrogate’s last four starts have resulted in a Travers Stakes track record, a Breeders’ Cup Classic championship, a Pegasus World Cup and a Dubai World Cup with Beyer Speed Figures of 122, 120, 119 and 115. He is now the highest earning racehorse in North American race history, already earning over $17 million dollars, in 8 career starts.

Overall, I would like to see him race at least three more times before I am sold on the fact that he’s the best since Secretariat. But for now, he’s undeniably the best racehorse in the world.


Arrogate attempts to become the richest racehorse in North American history

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March 24th 2017

Tomorrow, the Bob Baffert-trained 4-year-old Arrogate, the #1 ranked thoroughbred in the world by Longines, attempts to become the highest-earning thoroughbred in North American history in the $10 million dollar 2017 Dubai World Cup. If Arrogate wins, he will earn $6 million with a 1st place finish which will push his career race winnings to $17 million dollars. Thus, he would surpass California Chrome’s $14.75 career race winnings.

The Dubai World Cup is a 2000 Meter race which is slightly less than 1 1/4th mile. NBC Sports Network will provide live coverage of the Dubai races from 8:30 to 11:30 AM.

Besides Arrogate, the Dubai World Cup field of 14 includes a few names familiar to North American race fans: 2016 Kentucky Derby runners Gun Runner and Lani, 2015 Kentucky Derby runner Mubtaahij who finished 2nd in the last year’s Dubai World, Pegasus World Cup runners Neolithic and Keen Ice and the San Antonio Handicap winner Hoppertunity. Hoppertunity finished 3rd behind California Chrome and Mubtaahij in last year’s Dubai World Cup.

Other contenders include runners from the 2017 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 race at Dubai (shown below): race winner Long River, 2nd place finisher Special Fighter, 3rd place finisher Furia Cruzada and 4th place finisher Move Up. Note that Furia Cruzada is a 5-year-old mare.

Rounding out the Dubai World Cup are three Japanese horses:  the 2016 Tokyo Daishōten winner Apollo Kentucky and 2nd place finisher Awardee as well as the 2017 February Stakes winner Gold Dream.

Overall, I expect this to be another Arrogate romp similar to what we witnessed in the 2017 Pegasus World Cup. This is partly why I haven’t discussed this race or its expected entries on my blog until now. However, this field is much stronger than the 2017 Pegasus World Cup and it will be interesting to see what horses hit the board behind Arrogate and if anyone can seriously challenge him.

Perhaps Arrogate’s most serious challenger will be the most recent Razorback Handicap winner Gun Runner who had a sizzling time of 1:40.97 and 110 Beyer Speed Figure in that Oaklawn Park race (shown below). Gun Runner beat Shaman Ghost in his previous race, the 2016 Clark Handicap, last November. Shaman Ghost finished 2nd behind Arrogate in the Pegasus World Cup.

My prediction: 1) Arrogate, 2) Gun Runner, 3) Hoppertunity and 4) Keen Ice. But usually this race always has a surprise finisher or two. From the Meydan-based horses, Special Fighter and Mubtaahij seem to have the best chance to break into the Top 4.