There are several familiar (long) faces in the Breeders’ Cup Classic horse betting odds-boards – Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing, Classic Empire, Tapwrit, Irish War Cry – but the favorite to win the Grade I Weight for Age thoroughbred horse race for 3-year-olds and older on November 4th, 2017 is Arrogate. But who is Arrogate? That’s what people who bet on horse racing want to know. For starters, the four-year-old colt of Unbridled’s Song and Bubbler is the all-time leading money earner in North America – in spite of having won only four stakes race. How did this came to be?
Appropriately enough it all began with the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic (actually it all began with the 2016 Travers Stakes, but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good story) which another old acquaintance – California Chrome – was favored to win and actually led for most of the race before Arrogate caught up with him and beat him by ½ length. Even the colt’s trainer Bob Baffert “thought there was no way. California Chrome is a great horse. I didn’t think we could run him down. I thought he’d get second. I’m thinking, ‘At least he showed up.’ But then I saw Mike getting down on him, and that big stride of his. That was an incredible race by two incredible horses.”
Total Earnings: $£2,778,638
Then came the 2016 Pegasus World Cup – which contrary to what the name might suggest is open to wingless horses. Arrogant’s Breeders’ win had put him on the horse betting radar, as well as on California Chrome’s to-do list (as far as a horse has the ability to prioritize). Unfortunately, Chromie injured himself during the race and Arrogate was anti-dandruff shampoo above the field – i.e., head-and-shoulders.
Total Earnings: £5,691,057
Finally – so far – there was the 2017 Dubai World Cup. Having already won two of the largest dirt races in the world, Arrie was expected to take this one easily too. However, rain almost, well, rained on his parade. And in the desert, of all places. Arrogate was tardy and badly hampered from the stalls, exiting the scrum at the rear of the field and seemingly up the creek and without the paddle. But all of a sudden, Arrogate came up with one of the most impressive displays that Dubai has ever borne witness to, as he rounded the entirety of the field and caught up with the leader with a furlong remaining. Ultimately, Arrie managed to coast to the win. “When he missed the break, I gave him no chance at all. I was so mad at myself thinking I shouldn’t have brought him – that’s the greatest horse I’ve ever seen run, it’s unbelievable, I can’t believe he won. That is a great horse,” Baffert said afterward.
Total Earnings: £13,347,744
Or $17.08 million, if we speak American. In addition to stacking more papers than any other horse, Arrogate was the 2016 American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse and IFHA World’s Best Racehorse. Even more importantly, Baffert has called him “the greatest horse since Secretariat.” Which is probably a matter best left to horse betting posterity.