Arrogate’s Life Unjustly Confiscated


Every morning my first action is to make a cup of coffee and go to my office in my home. I turn on the idiot box (computer) to check out the most important news of the day – thoroughbred racing news.

That’s when I saw it.

Champion Arrogate was dead at age seven.

I was stunned.

How much worse can this year get? Track closings, Triple Crown schedule all fouled up, and the deaths of A.P. Indy and Forty Niner, two of our best runners and stallions over the last 35 five years. A.P. Indy and Forty Niner lived long, full lives. Arrogate was not so lucky.

Our sport is no different than other sports or other things close to our hearts. When something unwelcomed happens, it hurts. Sounds silly, right? When Mickey Mantle died, it left an empty feeling for older guys like me that grew up loving baseball. If you have been playing the horses long enough you had that emptiness in September 1989 when Secretariat died. Basketball lovers felt the same way when Kobe Bryant died earlier this year.

Our sport is filled with as much emotion as any other and that is why it is painful to lose a hero, especially if one is gone long before his time. Arrogate was one of those. The term arrogate means to claim or confiscate unjustly. That’s what happened to the horse that bore the name Arrogate. When the news broke yesterday, the vets still did not know what claimed his life. The press report I read simply said, “It is still unclear what the illness was, and a post-mortem is currently being carried out.”

I have talked to many racing fans that say Arrogate was the best they have ever seen – when he was at his best. I believe he was the best since Secretariat. His 2016 Travers win was so impressive I grabbed my wife and made her watch the replay. I told her this guy was something special. His last win came in Dubai and the way he won that race took my breath away. Gate traffic left him way behind at the start and I thought there was no way he could ever win. What I saw next was the most spectacular race I have ever seen other than Secretariat’s Belmont. He went in between and around horses and, in almost of a blink of an eye, went from almost the rear of the field to the lead. He defeated a great horse named Gun Runner by several lengths and Mike Smith was gearing him down before the wire. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

I don’t know or can explain why his last three races at Del Mar were bad. Could have been the surface. It could have been that the trip to Dubai took something out of him like the trip did to Cigar in 1996. He just wasn’t the same horse he was before winning the World Cup.

The son of Unbridled’s Song leaves us with only two seasons at stud. That is a real shame and a major loss for both racing and the breed.

We all know that the great ones occasionally get beat and they all die. Sometimes the defeats and deaths just hurt a little more.

This is one of those times.

Did you read?

Handicapping Tip of the Day #40 – Thoroughbred Race Horses are Not Machines

Handicapping Tip of the Day #55 – The Only Race

Breeders’ Cup Classic Defending Champ Arrogate Draws One Post

Arrogate BC 2016 winners circle

Arrogate Breeders’ Cup Classic 2016 winners circle

Arrogate will break from the rail in a bid for a second straight Breeders’ Cup Classic victory on Saturday at Del Mar, where the draws for the flat racing extravaganza were made on Monday. Trainer Bob Baffert admitted the number one slot wouldn’t have been his first choice, but jockey Mike Smith said Arrogate had broken… [Read more…]

Great Horse Racing Videos – Record-breaking Travers Stakes

The Travers Stakes had been contested 146 previous times at the oldest racetrack in America, Saratoga Race Course.  But a fairly unknown runner from the Bob Baffert barn would make this a memorable renewal of the Grade 1 Travers Stakes.

I’m proud to say that I was wise enough to select Arrogate on this day, the last time anyone would get close to double digit odds on the amazing racehorse.

Arrogate ran his final two furlongs in an unbelievable 23.84 and set a track record for 10 furlongs at Saratoga by hitting the teletimer in 1.59:36.   “The fastest Travers ever … and a new track record!” ~ bellowed track announcer Larry Columus.

Left in Arrogate’s wake were talented runners Gun Runner, Creator, Exaggerator, American Freedom, and Destin.



America’s Best Seeks Rebound in $1-million TVG Pacific Classic this Saturday

Del Mar
copyright Gary Tasich

Arrogate, the North American earnings champion with something to prove at Del Mar, will get a chance to do just that this Saturday when he heads a field of eight horses in the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic.

The gray by Unbridled’s Song was assigned Post 8 at a special “Draw Party” Tuesday evening at the popular Brigantine restaurant on the high ground overlooking the seaside oval and once again will be handled by his Hall of Fame partner, Mike Smith. The mile and a quarter crucible, which will reward its winner with a prize of $600,000, will go off at approximately 5:40 p.m. PDT as the eightth race on an 11-race card. NBCSN will televise the Grade I headliner nationally.

The Juddmonte Farms colt was installed as the even-money favorite by Del Mar linemaker Russ Hudak, a substantially longer price than the 1-5 morning line he started with in the TVG San Diego Handicap here July 22. He’s also likely to finish quite a bit longer than the 1-20 odds he broke from the gate with in that mile and one-sixteenth test. The real question, though, is will he make up for a case of what subsequently proved to be disappointment of the highest order?

Going into the San Diego, Arrogate had a record of seven wins from eight starts with a bankroll that registered over $17-million, more than any other North American horse in history. But in the San Diego he managed to – in the words of his Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert –  “lay an egg.” The husky 4-year-old never got in gear that afternoon and finished a disappointing fourth.

But his connections feel he has put that “no go” behind him and is back “to his old self” after a series of steady works since. He’ll pack 124 pounds – as will all runners in the race with the exception of the 3-year-old Sorry Erik, who gets 118 – trying to show the racing world that he’s back and that his “Horse of the World” crown still fits nicely on his classy head.

Set to take him on are the colt who beat him in the TVG San Diego, Hronis Racing’s Accelerate, along with another Hronis runner, Hard Aces; R3 Racing, Calara Farms and ERJ Racing’s Curlin Road, Reddam Racing’s Donworth, Tachycardia Stables and Twilight Racing’s Royal Albert Hall, Big Chief Racing’s Sorry Erik and Speedway Stable’s Collected. The last-named runner, a galloping winner of the Precisionist Stakes at Santa Anita in his last start, also hails from the Bob Baffert barn.

The TVG Pacific Classic will draw top billing on a deep card that also will feature two other Graded stakes – the Grade I Del Mar Oaks and the Grade II Del Mar Handicap, the former run at nine furlongs on grass for a $300,000 purse and the latter marked in at 11 furlongs on the lawn for a $250,000 pot.

Both the TVG Pacific Classic and the Del Mar Handicap are Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, guaranteeing their winners admission into designated Breeders’ Cup races. The former gets its hero a free ticket into the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic, while the latter ensures admission into the $4-million Breeders’ Cup Turf. Both will be run at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4 as part of the two-day, 13-race extravaganza that will be held at the shore track for the first time this fall.

Here’s the field for the TVG Pacific Classic in post position order with riders and morning line odds:

Post Position Horse/Jockey Morning Line Odds
Corey Nakatani
Martin Garcia
Victor Espinoza
Kent Desormeaux
Santiago Gonzalez
Mario Gutierrez
Flavien Prat
Mike Smith

First post Saturday for the chock full card is 2 p.m. PDT.

Handicapping Tip of the Day #40 – Thoroughbred Race Horses are Not Machines

See Arrogate July 22, 2017 at Del Mar.


Super horse Arrogate Loses

The horse racing world was turned upside-down when Arrogate, rated the top horse in the world and the all-time leading money winner among North American thoroughbreds, suffered one of the biggest upsets in thoroughbred history Saturday at Del Mar, Calif. Arrogate, the 1-20 favorite in the $300,000 San Diego Handicap, finished fourth. After his subpar performance,… [Read more…]

Top Trainer Bob Baffert Talking Del Mar 2017 [Video]

Del mar chantal billboardThe 78th season of horse racing at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club starts Wednesday, July 19th. Bob Baffert, one of the sports all-time best trainers, has a horse named Arrogate that will race twice at Del Mar this season.

Here’s trainer Bob Baffert talking about the …

Source: Top Trainer Bob Baffert Talking Del Mar

Last to First Arrogate Takes Dubai World Cup in Breathtaking Fashion

Arrogate Dubai World Cup 2017 winJuddmonte Farms’ Arrogate broke last, but rallied to easily win the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline.  It was a breathtaking performance  that had the racing public buzzing, especially on social media.

Source: Arrogate Last to First in Dubai World Cup

Arrogate in a different class to Dubai World Cup rivals

IT was Super Saturday at Meydan last weekend, but the only market mover for the Dubai World Cup was standing in his box.

The RACING POST (UK): World Cup: Arrogate in a different class to World Cup rivals

Great Horse Racing Video Series – 2017 Pegasus World Cup

Arrogate made easy work of a full field of 12 runners, including 2016 Horse of the Year and fan favorite California Chrome.  Saturday, January 28, 2017 at Gulfstream Park in FL featured the inaugural running of the 2017 Pegasus World Cup, featuring an incredible $12 million purse.

This race replay includes the post-race conference with winning jockey Mike Smith.