Dubai World Cup? What’s Next For Pegasus Champion Arrogate

by | 01.29.2017 | 7:01pm
Will Baffert send Arrogate to Dubai in March?

When Arrogate was announced as the Longines World's Best Racehorse on Tuesday, trainer Bob Baffert told The National that he had no plans to take the 4-year-old superstar son of Unbridled's Song overseas for the $10 million Dubai World Cup in March.

“We'll give him a little break after the Pegasus as usually we would not run him in the winter,” Baffert said then. “I wouldn't take him to Dubai. We bought him for American racing, and with his pedigree we want him to stay in America.”

Following Arrogate's stunning 4 3/4-length romp in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup on Saturday afternoon, worth a world-record $12 million, Baffert expressed a different opinion.

“Right now, I wouldn't have any objections about running in Dubai,” Baffert told thoroughbredracing.com, “but at the end of the day, Prince Khalid is the boss.”

Baffert has won the Dubai World Cup twice before: with Silver Charm in 1998 and with Captain Steve in 2001. Of course, the purses were a bit smaller then, at about $3 million in 1998 and approximately $5 million in 2001. The purse was not raised to $10 million until 2010, a number which gave the Dubai World Cup the status as the richest race in the world until the creation of the Pegasus.

In recent years, Baffert has sent top runners Hoppertunity (3rd, 2016) and Game On Dude (12th, 2012 on Tapeta) to contest the Dubai World Cup, but has not managed to find the winner's circle.

While assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes confirmed Sunday morning that Juddmonte's main goal is to reach the Breeders' Cup Classic once again in 2017, the possibility of a start in Dubai has not been taken entirely off the table.

Should Arrogate win the Dubai World Cup, the winner's $6 million share of the purse would boost his career earnings to approximately $17 million, besting the current North American record of $14.7 million, held by the recently retired California Chrome.

“We totally trust Bob's judgment of the horse,” said Garrett O'Rourke, Juddmonte's U.S. racing manager. “We want, of course, the horse to have a championship season. So the end of the season is very important. But at the moment we won't think about anything until we get out a few weeks (from the Dubai World Cup) and we will leave it to Bob to come back and tell us what it is and his judgment of the horse at that time.”

No matter where the big gray colt makes his next start, all eyes will be watching the newly-crowned leader of the dirt handicap division.

“Arrogate is definitely the No. 1 horse in the world,” Baffert emphasized.

  • billy

    A track record that stood for years winning the richest race and being voted best racehorse in the world……get his damn teeth fixed something to often overlooked

    • Meydan Rocks

      LOL

    • Lehane

      OMG you’re right Billy! Zoomed in and saw how bad it is. His poor mouth.

  • Bryan Langlois

    Lot of possibility here. If he does go to Dubai, then maybe a Met Mile, Whitney, Pacific Classic (I know would be short rest), and BCC campaign targeted. If not Dubai then hard to say. It would be nice to see him stay in America and have a really great campaign that takes him all over the Country for the fans to see, like Cigars campaign in 1995 and 1996. I realize that likely won’t happen with the way todays thoroughbreds are managed…but one can dream

    • Johnnysoda

      I posted on twitter that, ideally, he would go Oaklawn, Met Mile/Foster, Whitney, Woodward, BC Classic. That way, he stays in the U.S. and gets to run before American fans.

      Of course, this has a snowball’s chance in hell of happening.

      • Meydan Rocks

        Funny.

      • paul adams

        No shot

    • Curt Muth

      Met Mile I would think is a automatic toss.

      • Bryan Langlois

        I’m not sure. If he goes to Dubai, I could see it as kind of a come back race gearing him up for late summer/fall campaign. Plus it is a very prized race for stallion prospects.

        • Curt Muth

          To short for Arrogate.

          • slewcrew7778

            That was said about the Pegasus. He will have 107 more ft of stretch at Belmont than he did at SA and 119 ft more than Gulfstream. If Honor Code could do it he surely can.

          • Bryan Langlois

            At most other tracks I would agree…but Belmonts size and configuration would make it an ideal choice for him and his large stride.

          • Zoron

            He just clicked off a 1:33.90 mile around 2 turns at Gulfstream. Belmont’s one-turn mile, with those sweeping turns, would pose no obstacle.

          • Ed Fountaine

            Many of America’s greatest distance horses of the not-too-distant past – Dr. Fager, Secretariat, Forego, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Alydar, Spectacular Bid, and Arrogate’s sire, to mention just a few – were killers going 7 furlongs.

          • Curt Muth

            I still think Arrogate would need to be able to outbreak a horse like Nobel Bird to really be competitive at a 1 turn mile like the “Met”.

  • McGov

    Comments from Garrett indicate that this horse might race as a 5 yr old…..that it’s possible. Horse racing would benefit greatly if this horse is able to do that. Fingers crossed :) I can’t imagine what the ceiling is for him and we won’t know unless he races at 5. It will be fun to watch!

    • Sampan

      Arrogate is a late bloomer and due to his size, the Juddmonte Farm team of Bob Baffert,
      Garrett O’Rourke, Dr. John Chandler and Khalid Abullah will to take into consideration how his feet, ankles and shins can withstand the pressure of performing at the highest level.
      If they wait until he is a 5 year old his muscles and bones will be fully developed and in 2018 he could possibly handle the BC Classic, Pegasus and Dubai World Cup. However, to try it now, when he is not fully mature, may do some harm to his hooves, ankles or shins thus possibly compromising his soundness this fall at BC time.
      I can see him racing as a 5 year old if he stays sound.
      He’s in the best possible hands and they’ll do right by the horse.

      • Wayne

        The biggest consideration is his sire. Unbridled Songs can run a hole in the wind but not for long. They usually last for four or five races and soundness issues catch up with them just like their sire and grandsire

        • Sampan

          I when I see big fast horses like Arrogate, Will Take Charge and Graydar.
          My first concerns are how will their tendons, ankles, sesamoids and hooves stand the stress. I like to see well defined tendons, pyramid type sesamoids, good ankles (not ball type) and nice size hooves (not thin or Shelly).

      • McGov

        He is in great hands. I’m sure Baffert himself runs a hand or two every day across this horse. So many ways for thoroughbreds to hurt themselves and especially, it would seem, the really good ones ;)
        I like that he didn’t prep into Pegasus….and the horse is not likely to face much this year so he should be able to not run 100% in most cases and still win…no more CC to worry about. However, Songbird will be interesting.

        • lastromantibune

          love Songbird….but she couldn’t warm him up…be serious.

          • McGov

            Songbird is a developing filly that got beat a nose to Beholder…..who beat Dortmund.
            It will be interesting to see what she becomes in 2017.

  • Sampan

    Arrogate is a lightly raced and still maturing 4 year old .
    I would hope they put off going to Dubai this year.
    They can lay out a North America Gr1 stakes plan with options that best suits his needs leading up to their main goal of the BC Classic in Nov. at Del Mar.
    I think it would be easier on him to race as a mature 5 year old to be better prepared to handle the travel and schedule of tough races against the best in the world.

    Shipping can have adverse affects and not every horse has done well after returning from Dubai.

    • Lmaris

      It is extremely unlikely he will run at 5, being far too valuable to risk on the track. This is his chance and he’s proven travel across the continent just a few days before a race does no phase him at all.

      Not sure what horses other than Sheikh Mo’s family’s horses would face him, so why not give it a try? THe Prince shared Flintshire with the USA for a season, so why not share Arrogate for a day?

      • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

        Whatever Baffert decides is fine by me but I agree that, considering the way he’s running, the DWC’s $6M winner’s share is Arrogate’s for the taking.

    • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

      It’s very unlikely he races as a five-year-old unless it’s for one last race – the second edition of the Pegasus next January. His stud value pretty much insures that. As for Dubai – it’s this year or not at all.

      • Bristling

        I agree they’re trying to get HOY on his resume.

      • Wayne

        You have to understand the The prince of Saudi Arabia owns this source. Do you really think money is a consideration. He’s in the race horse business to race not to make money he has plenty

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          I’m well aware of who owns the horse. While he doesn’t need the money he is nonetheless at least partially motivated by running his horse in the most prestigious dirt races and the DWC is one of them.

    • Scott Samuel

      He would destroy any horse he faced in the Dubai World Cup. There is no reason to go over there unless they raise the purse to $15 million and he still would become the richest North American race horse with a victory in the Classic.

  • worldb.free

    He doesn’t have many more starts in him. Look at his crooked back legs. I think he could run second in Dubai, come back and win the Pacific and maybe the BCC. If sound, a shot in the Pegasus and retire, four to five races if he doesn’t break down.

    • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

      Why do you think he would run second in Dubai? He would likely face much tougher competition in the Pacific Classic and BCC than anything entering the starting gate in Dubai.

      • worldb.free

        The stretch is too long in Dubai, Lostinthefog. Speed doesn’t win there nor does sitting inside. So he’ll be forced to stalk from the outside (unlike in the Peg), then take the lead. I think something will come out of the clouds to beat him in the final 1/16th. Depending on the field, of course. I don’t think he will race much longer as those legs look awful.

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          “The stretch is too long in Dubai, Lostinthefog. Speed doesn’t win there nor does sitting inside. So he’ll be forced to stalk from the outside (unlike in the Peg), then take the lead.”

          In his last three races Arrogate has proven he can win gate-to-wire (Travers), closing like a freight train (BCC) and stalk-and-pounce (Pegasus). You think he can’t stalk from the outside if that’s what Mike Smith asks him to do?

          • worldb.free

            Not sure what you mean “gate-to-wire” … that means led all the way as in “wire-to-wire”. … I know he CAN stalk, he did rate and stalk in the BCC and sat in the Pegasus. I just don’t know if he can hold off a Japanese runner down that long stretch. You know it’s not usual for a horse to running 10th-18th at TRC or Kyoto and pass the field. They are very similar to Aussie types. I think Arrogate will have the lead at the 1/8th pole, depending on many factors such as soundness, racing luck, etc.

          • Zoron

            Yes. Japanese runners have had Dubai fields at their mercy for years. By all means, let’s dodge the Japanese horses, particularly with a specimen such as Arrogate who has repeatedly revealed himself as susceptible to a closer’s kick. Just because California Chrome managed to find his way to the winner’s circle over there, there’s no reason to think Arrogate could possibly duplicate that feat. I mean, he’d have to be at least as good as California Chrome.

          • Whynotwest

            Haha. I’m laughing. Great comment.

  • Mr J

    Arrogate is men vs boys. The thought of CC or any other horse being in the same zip code as big Arro is ludicrous. He’ll blow the world record earnings away

  • Sunshine Lane

    Technically, isn’t Arrogate still 3 years old? He turns 4 in April.

    • Hal DeUhm

      Every horse is officially “born” on January 1st of their birth year. A December 31st foal turns a year old within 24 hours.

      • Sunshine Lane

        Thank you so much Hal for letting me know. I didn’t know that. I definitely learned something new!

  • Richard C

    Pegasus, Dubai, BC Classic — Rolling in Dough Triple Crown.

  • Kathryn R Wilt

    I was under the impression that Arrogate raced on lasix. Isn’t that illegal in Dubai?

    • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

      Just like CC and virtually every other major horse in America. When they go to Dubai they race without Lasix for that race and then revert back to race-day Lasix when they return to the states. In that regard it wouldn’t be any different for Arrogate than the other American-based horses who have competed in the DWC.

      • Kathryn R Wilt

        Thank you Robert. How long can a top class racehorse like Arrogate race without lasix or even workout ? Honest ly…I do not know.

        • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

          Use of race-day Lasix is forbidden in all major racing jurisdictions in the world except the U.S. and Canada. In some of those jurisdictions its use is completely forbidden while in others it is allowed in training but not on race day.

          • Lehane

            Lasix is banned outright in Australia.

      • Ed Fountaine

        Perhaps it is worth noting that Arrogate’s sire, Unbridled’s Song, never raced on Lasix until the final start of his career.

  • Hal DeUhm

    I’d sure like to see Arrogate in Dubai this year.

  • lastromantibune

    Breeders CUP… Pegasus cup…Dubai World cup… “New Triple Crown” open to older horses…it would be a feat unmatched…to make history you must be bold…but you must put the horses first. we are all witnessing history

    • That is an interesting concept, lastromantibune. It would be nice to see some American horses in Japan, as well.

      What would be even more awesome is if we witnessed a horse win the Arc and the BCC.

    • All American Chutzpah

      This message brought to you by the US oil for dollars petrodollar swindle.

  • talkingman17

    Hes GOING! Is he gonna stay here to race for half a million?

  • Steve

    Considering who owns the horse, I expect to see Arrogate in Dubai

  • Always Curious

    How many contradictions here? Too many to figure out exactly what is going on. Baffert being Baffert. Baffert says he was never purchased to run anywhere but in the USA. Needs the rest for 2017, the owner calls the shots, then Baffert says he has no problem running in Dubai. Then Juddmont’s racing manager says it is all up to Bob. As his son Bodie says, trainer talk. Haha!

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