March 25, 2016: A grey three-year-old Unbridled’s Song colt by the name of Arrogate is training toward his debut at Los Alamitos Race Track.
March 25, 2017: As a four-year-old, Arrogate has become the richest North American horse ever.
It took the Bob Baffert trainee just eight career races (four of them Grade I stakes) and little less than a year to reach more than $17 million in earnings and, if he stays healthy, that amount could be as high as $29 million by next January. Arrogate is the undisputed world’s best racehorse and when you realize that he might have not reached his maximum potential yet, his immediate future looks very exciting, to say the least. I have made a projection on what the next races for him will be and it looks like this:
The next race for the Dubai World Cup champion would seem logical: the Gold Cup (GI) at Santa Anita, a 10-furlong race with a $500,000 purse, scheduled for May 27. A win here would put Arrogate’s earnings close to $17.5 million.
Then there is a gap of almost three months to the Grade 1, $1-million Pacific Classic at Del Mar, scheduled for Aug. 19. Trainer Bob Baffert might consider shipping Arrogate to Churchill Downs for the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) on June 17 in order to give him one race before the big one at Del Mar, but this one seems too close to the Gold Cup, so I don’t think it will happen.
If Arrogate triumphs at Del Mar, his earnings would reach the $18 million mark. With a considerable layoff, the champ could be shipped to Belmont Park for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI), a 10-furlong, $1-million race in October. That could be his final race prior to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Del Mar, where he would try to emulate Tiznow, the only horse to have won two consecutive editions of the prestigious race.
Arrogate would have sort of home-field advantage at Del Mar. Then again, several factors will have to conjugate for the champion to remain unbeaten in 2017. Let’s not forget that winning a single race, regardless of the horse, is never an easy task. However, the gray has done everything right; thus, it is not adventurous to predict a perfect season for him. Winning a second Breeders’ Cup Classic would put Arrogate’s earnings at around $22 million, with a second win in the $12-million Pegasus World Cup a very reasonable goal.
And there wouldn’t be a better scenario for Arrogate to finish out an already fantastic career than the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. His mere presence would be the key for a successful rendition of the richest race in North America and, if he repeats his 2017 performance, he could retire with at least $29 million in earnings — a number that will be very difficult to reach in several years to come.
Nothing is etched in stone in our beloved sport, but having a horse like Arrogate around makes these projections look very feasible.