When Arrogate was rolling down the stretch at Saratoga all alone, winning the historic Travers Stakes by 13 ½ lengths, he set a lot of different things in motion.
For one, he energized the contest for best 3-year-old colt, which might have started listing one way or another if Exaggerator or Creator had won.
For a second, Arrogate set up a nice payday for all the bettors who had tickets on the big gray son of Unbridled's Song at nearly 12-1.
For a third, he set up breeder Clearsky Farm to be swamped with activity at the Keeneland September sale in two weeks. Clearsky has a dozen yearlings in its September consignment, and one of them is the yearling half-sister to Arrogate.
The yearling is by leading sire Medaglia d'Oro, the sire of current champion filly Songbird, as well as past champion Rachel Alexandra, and Medaglia d'Oro also sired the highest-priced yearling at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga select sale earlier in August.
Clearsky's farm manager Barry Robinette compared the siblings: “Arrogate was a kind of raw, gangly young horse who started to come around through the summer. By the time of the September sale, he had put on muscle and filled out enough that he caught Juddmonte's eye.
“This filly looks like a super model. She has plenty of leg and frame, but she hasn't filled out as much as Arrogate at the same time. Still, she's a nice prospect, doing well, and we're pleased with her.”
Arrogate had much the same frame as a yearling, a big, scopy colt who walked well. He was also in the barn with Clearsky's pair of Tapit colts who both sold for seven figures. One of them, two stalls over, went on to be named Mohaymen, who was a graded stakes winner at 2 and again this year at 3.
Like Mohaymen, Arrogate is a gray. Nor was he overlooked at the September sale two years ago. The gray son of Unbridled's Song sold for $560,000 to Juddmonte Farms. That made Arrogate the third-highest lot by his sire to sell in 2014 and one of only eight yearlings that Juddmonte bought that season.
In an article published nearly two years ago at Paulick Report, Juddmonte's Garrett O'Rourke explained the acquisitions were an outgrowth of the international farm's “historical success of racing in California,” and these youngsters were the third small set the farm had acquired at auction for that purpose.
Arrogate is the first foal of his dam, the stakes winner Bubbler (by Distorted Humor). Winner of six races and four stakes, Bubbler also ran third in a Grade 3 at Lone Star. At the end of her 4-year-old season, Bubbler was consigned to the Fasig-Tipton November auction and sold for $170,000 to Clearsky Farms.
Robinette described Bubbler as a “good-sized mare, standing 16.1 or thereabouts, with a good shoulder, typical of Distorted Humor, big hip, big barrel, pretty head. Overall, she's a nice mare, but she's a bit of a boss around the barn. She's one of the last mares we have to wean this year. Has a nice Giant's Causeway filly at side that we will wean soon.”
Bubbler is one of two stakes winners out of Grechelle (Deputy Minister) from six foals. Grechelle's other stakes winner is Unbridled Femme, the mare's first foal and a daughter of Unbridled's Song. So it was a natural thought to send the half-sister, Bubbler, to that famous sire.
And Arrogate is the result.
Grechelle was one of five foals and four winners out of champion Meadow Star (Meadowlake), but Grechelle was the only one to earn black type, running third in the G3 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs at 2.
Grechelle's full sister, the good winner Field of Vision, is the second dam of G1 winner Belle Gallantey (After Market), winner of the Delaware Handicap and Beldame Stakes in 2014 and $1.1 million in earnings.
Meadow Star was a stupendous race filly, winning 11 of her first 12 starts. The flashy chestnut was an unbeaten 2-year-old champion filly, and her form looked good enough that owner Foxfield and trainer Leroy Jolley tossed her into the mix against colts for the G1 Wood Memorial. She finished fourth after a challenging trip but bounced right back to win both the Acorn Stakes and the Mother Goose.
A beautifully balanced filly with great power and a tremendous competitive drive, Meadow Star was the best produce of her famous sire and of her dam Inreality Star (In Reality). Winner of a maiden special on her debut, Inreality Star is out of Imanative (Native Dancer). The latter was a very good producer who foaled five stakes winners from 15 foals. The best of those was Fairway Phantom (What a Pleasure), winner of the G1 Arlington Classic in 1981 and the G2 Breeders' Futurity the year before, and the full brother to Inreality Star, the gray Par Flite, won the 1985 G2 Washington Park Stakes, and he was second in the G1 Arlington Classic and third in the G1 American Derby.
Arrogate has written a further chapter of this family's success at the top level, and we will wait to see how high he will fly.
Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is chief of biomechanics for DataTrack International and is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.
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