Arrogate breaks badly, still wins Dubai World Cup

AS expected, Arrogate won the Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1) last Saturday (March 25) at Meydan Racecourse.

The Juddmonte Farms-owned colt broke badly at the start under regular rider Mike Smith, and ran in dead last during the initial stages. He started moving up soon after on the outside of a field, racing wide until he was able to shoot through a hole in the middle of the pack halfway through the race.

Down the stretch, Arrogate narrowed the gap between himself and the rail, with Gun Runner racing right beside the rail. Arrogate pulled away in the final few meters, winning the 2,000-meter race by about a length and a half.

Gun Runner came in second and Neolithic third, for a 1-2-3 finish for American horses.

Arrogate’s victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (DWC) adds to the luster of his many recent victories, including the 1,800-meter Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park last Aug. 28.

This brings Arrogate’s career earnings to $17,084,600 for seven wins and one show (third place) out of eight starts. His share of the DWC purse was $6 million.

Arrogate was bred by Clearsky Farms (Kentucky) and foaled in 2013 out of Bubbler by Unbridled’s Song. At 3YO, in 2016, he won the Breeder’s Cup Classic and the Travers Stakes.

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I am in tremendous awe of Arrogate. This horse is incredibly gifted, almost like another Secretariat but without the drama. In the Travers, Arrogate destroyed the field, winning by 13-1/2 lengths over 12 other horses and setting a new track record of 1:59.6 for 10f (2,000 meters). His exploits as a 3YO made him a shoo-in for 3YO Male Eclipse Champion.

It’s quite likely that he’ll be 2017 Horse of the Year. He certainly has my vote. Here’s why: please go to Youtube and watch the Travers and the DWC. In the latter, look where Arrogate makes that tremendous rally on the outside. It’s a spectacular run that reminds me of Secretariat in the 1973 Preakness—he also broke last, made a fast break at the first turn to take the lead, and went on to win by a couple of lengths.

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As I’ve mentioned several times in my columns before, the DWC used to be the “world’s richest race” and was billed as such until the Pegasus put up a $12 million purse. My sister, who worked in Dubai for over a decade, predicted that the Emiratis would try to regain lost prestige by upping the DWC prize money. I scoffed. It turns out she was right.

Yesterday, it was reported by The National that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, ruler of Dubai, “has pledged to make the [DWC] the world’s most valuable race once more… When asked whether he would increase the purse of the World Cup to supersede the Pegasus equivalent Sheikh Mohammed replied: “Definitely we will do that. The future is open. We have a vision and we dream for that. We will put plans in place to improve this race—the Dubai World Cup.”

There you have it, racing fans, straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Now it’s a race to see whether the DWC will regain its title as the world’s richest race next year or the Pegasus keeps the distinction. In any case, it looks like big and bountiful races are in the offing.

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Dr. Ortuoste is a California-based writer. Facebook: Gogirl Racing and Jenny Ortuoste, Twitter: @gogirlracing and @jennyortuoste, and Instagram: @jensdecember

Topics: Arrogate , Dubai World Cup
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