Arrogate arrived on the scene belatedly, making his stakes debut in late August, but left quite an impact in 2016 posting a record-setting win in the Travers (G1) and a scintillating victory over California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). By virtue of those dynamic performances, the son of Unbridled’s Song easily earned the Eclipse Award for champion 3-year-old male.
Owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Bob Baffert, Arrogate was purchased for $560,000 as a yearling at the 2014 Keeneland September sale. The gray colt was bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms and hails from the multiple stakes-winning Distorted Humor mare Bubbler. Arrogate counts 1990 champion 2-year-old filly Meadow Star as his third maternal dam.
The physically-imposing colt didn’t made his first start until April 17 of his 3-year-old season, finishing third in a 6-furlong maiden special weight at Los Alamitos. He broke his maiden when stretching out to two turns for his second start, a 1 1/16-mile race at Santa Anita on June 5, and hasn’t lost since, compiling a 5-for-6 ledger that includes a pair of allowance/optional claiming wins in late June and early August.
Baffert shipped Arrogate to Saratoga for the August 27 Travers (G1) and Arrogate led wire-to-wire after breaking from the innermost post position with new rider Mike Smith, extending his advantage at every call en route to a whopping 13 1/2-length decision. He completed 1 1/4 miles in a track record 1:59.36, easily besting the previous mark of 2:00 from 1979.
Arrogate registered a 124 BRIS Speed rating in the Travers, the highest number ever awarded.
Baffert elected to freshen his charge nine weeks in advance of the November 5 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the decision reaped major dividends as Arrogate gamely ran down a loose-on-lead California Chrome, overhauling his odds-on rival in deep stretch as he scored by a half-length.
Arrogate, who has received triple-digit BRIS Late Pace figures in all six starts, garnered another excellent 115 Speed rating for his Classic success.
An earner of $4,084,600, Arrogate is the first champion 3-year-old male to skip the Triple Crown since Tiznow in 2000.
Read more on the 2016 Eclipse Awards.