Bob Baffert and Juddmonte Farms have made it clear that Arrogate will retire after the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will run on Saturday, November 5th. The four-year-old colt has already established a career worthy of the Hall of the Fame, but could go one step further if he is to win the final race of his illustrious run.
“That’s the greatest horse I’ve ever seen run,” Baffert said of candidly of Arrogate. That says a lot considering that Baffert has saddled horses such as Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. But the distinction for Arrogate is in his earnings, which more than double that of American Pharoah, who also retired following the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Currently, Arrogate holds an astounding record of 7-1-1 in 10 starts and has total earnings of $17,302,600. If he should triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Arrogate will retire as the sport’s first ever $20 million winner. And we thought we’d seen it all.
That victory isn’t assured by any stretch. Arrogate has had some poor runs this summer, finishing 4th in the San Diego Handicap while running fairly uninterested the entire way. Shortly after, he was stunned by 5/2 second choice Collected in the 2017 Pacific Classic as an even money favorite.
While all that has happened, Arrogate lost his world ranking as the top Thoroughbred in the country to fellow four-year-old colt Gun Runner who amassed three straight victories in the 2017 Stephen Foster Handicap, Whitney Handicap and Woodward Stakes. The pressure is now on as the top-two will face off in the Breeders’ Cup Classic as the best exacta box play of all time.
Arrogate will retire and almost certainly head to stud where he will fetch one of the highest stud prices ever seen. Considering that he was originally purchased for $560,000, this is quite the investment by Juddmonte Farms.
We know when it will end, we just don’t know how. It will either be history or heartbreak for Arrogate in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic.