A year ago at this time, Arrogate had yet to run his first race. The Bob Baffert trainee was a non-factor on the road to the Kentucky Derby because of shin problems encountered as a 2-year-old.
With a victory in Saturday’s $10 million Dubai World Cup, Arrogate will become the richest North American Thoroughbred in horse racing history.
California Chrome retired after January’s Pegasus World Cup with career winnings of $14,752,650 from 27 career starts.
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Espoir City racked up $11,443,812 across 40 races a couple years earlier.
Arrogate goes to post Saturday with $11,084,600 in his saddle bag.
How has a lightly raced 4-year-old so rapidly placed his name amid racing greats such as Chrome, Curlin ($10,501,800) and Cigar ($9,999,815)?
By cashing the big check.
The 2017 Dubai World Cup marks Arrogate’s eighth career start for Juddmonte Farms. He finished third in his career debut on April 17 last year at Los Alamitos. He is unbeaten since then.
His three most recent races have fueled the jackpot. Arrogate banked $670,000 in winning the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in August as an 11-1 shot. He took home $3.3 million from the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November as the second choice behind California Chrome. Then he beat Chrome again — this time as the favorite — and made it rain to the tune of $7 million in the first Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream in January.
In the Dubai World Cup — where the winner’s take is $6 million — Arrogate will be confronted by the likes of Gun Runner, Keen Ice, Neolithic, Hoppertunity and last year’s World Cup runner-up Mubtaahij. Arrogate, who will run from post No. 9 in a full 14-horse field Saturday, vanquished Gun Runner in the Travers, Keen Ice and Hoppertunity in the Classic and Neolithic in the Pegasus.
“He’s handling everything really well,” Baffert said this week at Meydan Racecourse, of Arrogate’s long journey from his California base. “I’m counting on Arrogate to get it done. ... I know I have a great horse. If he just repeats his last race we’ll be in good shape.”
Thunder Snow, winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas, is among six 3-year-olds made eligible to compete in the Triple Crown series during the late nomination period.
The late nominees, which required a payment of $6,000 each, raise the total nominations to 425 for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes. The late nomination period closed Monday. The early nomination window closed in January and required a payment of $600.
Ireland-bred Thunder Snow, owned by Godolphin Racing, is set to run Saturday in the $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai. The colt has three wins in seven career starts for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The other late nominees are Hollywood Handsome, trained by Dallas Stewart; More Than Words, trained by Charlie LoPresti; Parlor, trained by Eddie Kenneally; Rapid Dial, trained by Ingrid Mason; and Stretch’s Stone, trained by Bruce Levine.
Thoroughbreds that weren’t nominated to the Triple Crown have one final chance by paying a supplemental fee. The fee for the Derby is $200,000; $150,000 for the Preakness; and $75,000 for the Belmont.
Man o’ War exhibit
The Kentucky Derby Museum says it is planning a new exhibit next month on one of Thoroughbred racing’s most famous horses: Man o' War.
The interactive exhibit will open April 8 and include information about Man o' War’s life, his racing career and his ties to the Kentucky Derby.
Man o’ War is considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time, winning 20 of 21 races. This year marks what would have been his 100th birthday. The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington is planning a yearlong celebration that includes an exhibit opening March 29.
The Kentucky Derby Museum exhibit will last through the end of the year and is included with general admission to the museum.
Dubai World Cup
What: $10 million race for older horses
Where: Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
When: 12:45 p.m. EDT Saturday.
The field in post position order: Apollo Kentucky, Long River, Gold Dream, Lani, Gun Runner, Move Up, Awardee, Furia Cruzada, Arrogate, Keen Ice, Neolithic, Hoppertunity, Special Fighter, Mubtaahij