Arrogate to be retired after BC Classic

Horse Racing

Champion Arrogate will be retired following this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar and will enter stud for the 2018 breeding season at Juddmonte Farms in Lexington, Ky.

A fee will be determined later for the 4-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song, who is owned by Juddmonte and has won 7 of 10 starts for earnings of $17,302,600.

His final start will be a defense of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic victory at Santa Anita, which helped him secure that season’s champion 3-year-old male honors and made him a finalist for Horse of the Year.

“It’s been an exciting ride,” said Garrett O’Rourke, Juddmonte’s U.S. racing and farm manager. “He’s been an iconic horse to be involved in. He has given us thrills beyond imagination, not just for the talent that he has, but for the excitement of his victories. That’s what I think ignited the real interest from fans.”

Arrogate burst into national prominence with a win in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, breaking the track record for 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga. He wrapped up his 2016 campaign finishing on top in a matchup with runner-up California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Arrogate returned to beat California Chrome again in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup, then won the Dubai World Cup. He most recently finished second in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic on Aug. 19 at Del Mar.

“That unique brilliance and dominance that he had as a racehorse, and at the classic distance, is what everyone wants to try to produce and present at the sales,” O’Rourke said. “They are the horses that end up winning the huge prize money, and when you look at the prize money he won, I think that’s every owner’s dream.”

O’Rourke said Arrogate gets his speed from Unbridled’s Song and his great-granddam, the champion 2-year-old filly Meadow Star.

“But I think that Unbridled stamina allows him to carry that speed for 10 furlongs,” O’Rourke said. “I think that’s what makes him really exciting, meshing that 2-year-old champion brilliance that he has in his pedigree with the classic stamina. That’s what made him a track record breaker.”

Arrogate’s post-Breeders’ Cup retirement quashes a potential start in next year’s Pegasus World Cup. California Chrome ran in the late January race this year before entering stud in early February at Taylor Made Stallions.

O’Rourke said the idea of running Arrogate in the Pegasus was on the table, but gearing him up for that race would essentially warrant gearing him up for an entire 5-year-old campaign. The Juddmonte staff observed California Chrome’s expedited turnaround from the racetrack to the breeding shed and decided that ending Arrogate’s career after the Breeders’ Cup would benefit him from a preparation and development standpoint and would benefit Juddmonte in terms of promoting its newest stallion.

“The good horsemanship way to do it is to retire him after the Breeders’ Cup, let the horse let down, relax, and from the marketing point of view, the right thing to do is allow the breeders to view the horse so they may select the absolute best mates for the horse based on the evaluation of his good looks and conformation,” he said. “Obviously, if you only arrive at the farm in February, that will make the decision more difficult for breeders.”

Juddmonte has already been preparing for Arrogate’s arrival by purchasing mares to include in his initial book, including Paulassilverlining. The Ghostzapper mare was a multiple Grade 2 winner before being bought privately earlier this year and has since become a multiple Grade 1 winner under the Juddmonte colors.

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