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Arrogate was a rare purchase for Juddmonte, being bred by Clearsky Farms and bought as a yearling at the Keeneland September Sale for $560,000. He more than paid back that investment, in a career that saw him become the richest North American racehorse in history.
The leggy grey colt, trained in California by Bob Baffert, made his racecourse debut as a three-year-old on 18th April 2016, in a Maiden Special Weight at Los Alamitos. After an encouraging third he followed up with a win at Santa Anita, the first in a run of seven consecutive victories.
On 27th August at Saratoga, Arrogate lined up for his first big contest, the Gr.1 Travers Stakes. His 13-and-a-half-length demolition of the field was the fastest run ever seen over the mile and a quarter at Saratoga in its 155 history, a feat described as ‘a performance for the ages’. After a short break, Arrogate headed to Santa Anita for the Gr.1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he raced prominently to head off the multiple Grade 1 winner and two-time Horse Of The Year California Chrome.
Arrogate returned to the track on 28th January 2017 at Gulfstream Park, for the inaugural running of the Gr.1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes, a new $12 million contest that in 2017 had surpassed the Gr.1 Dubai World Cup as the world’s richest race. He won the race by four-and-a-half lengths in track record time.
It was then on to the Dubai World Cup itself, with Arrogate bidding to become Prince Khalid’s first winner of the race. The colt started as the 1-3 favourite, the shortest starting price in the race’s history. However, after breaking slowly from the gate, Arrogate found himself in last position, and had to pass the entire field in an incredible performance that saw him sweep past Gun Runner and win by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
“I think at the time I'd never witnessed anything like that since I've been training," his trainer Bob Baffert told CNN. “A lot of people saw that race, it was pretty incredible what he did - you only see that in movies, where they're way last and then they come around and circle the field. And he ran down a courageous horse in Gun Runner - we know how good he is. If someone asked what's the greatest race you've ever witnessed? It would be Arrogate winning Dubai.”
Arrogate ran three more times, but was unable to recapture his brilliance to win again. He was retired to stand as a stallion at Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky as the winner of well over $17 million in prize money, and having been crowned the Longines World’s Best Racehorse for 2016 and for 2017.
Tragically, Arrogate died in June 2020 as a result of a neck injury. Following his death, Douglas Erskine Crum, CEO Juddmonte Group, said: “This is very hard on everyone at Juddmonte, most especially on Steve Dotsey, Stallion Manager, and Jorge Chavarria who cared for Arrogate daily and who had such a great rapport with him. It was a bold decision to ask Bob Baffert to purchase and train top dirt horses for Prince Khalid and, assisted by Donato Lanni, the selection of Arrogate was one of the success stories of the decade on the racetrack. Arrogate has bred three crops at stud, has his first yearlings to present to sales this year and his physical and personality traits are passing very strongly to his offspring.”
Garrett O’Rourke, General Manager Juddmonte USA, added: “We will never forget the ride Arrogate took us on. Those four amazing races established him as one of the great racehorses of our time, breaking two track records, taking down champion California Chrome in a battle for the ages and then running by Gun Runner in another worldly performance in Dubai. We hope that the heartbreak of losing him so young can be soothed by proudly watching the achievement of his runners.”