Juddmonte Farms’ Arrogate, the champion three-year-old colt of 2016, has won seven of 11 starts and earned $17,302,600 – a record for a North American-trained racehorse – he entered the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but following two consecutive losses, in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on July 22 and the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on August 19, he did not go off as the favorite in the race.
It wasn’t that long ago, following emphatic wins in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes in January and the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airlines in March, that he was being heralded in the media as one of the all-time greats. But in a classic case of “What have you done for me lately?”, the big grey son of Unbridled’s Song’s stock has plummeted. His workouts leading up to the Classic had been put under the microscope by all types of “experts” on social media, and their consensus view is that Arrogate didn’t train as well as he did last year before he defeated California Chrome in a thriller of a Classic.
Some of these same folks, however, had said the same thing about Arrogate before the Pegasus – there’d been an issue with his right hind foot that required a three-quarter shoe – but Arrogate won that race in brilliant style.
Arrogate’s losses this year have all been at Del Mar, the site of the Breeders’ Cup, and the track’s surface has also been mentioned as a culprit. He’d run at Del Mar last year in an allowance race in early August that he’d won by “only” a length and a quarter, but in his next start, the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga, he’d walloped a field by 13-and-a-half lengths at 11.70-1 in track-record time...