The Dubai World Cup meeting celebrates its historic 25th anniversary on March 27, with six Gr.1 races and three Gr.2s, including one of the world's premier races, the $12 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline.
Over the next few days, we will pay tribute to each of the previous Dubai World Cup winners. Today, we rewind to 2017 when Arrogate pulled off a thrilling win for American trainer Bob Baffert, ridden by jockey Mike Smith.
Arrogate came rolling through the desert of Dubai and wowed the world with a Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline Gr.1 performance that will be remembered for decades to come. Owned by the iconic Juddmonte Farms, trained by America’s premier classic-race conditioner Bob Baffert and ridden by the leading ‘big-money rider’ Mike Smith, Arrogate was not exactly a rags-to-riches story, but the gray son of Unbridled’s Song’s tale of accomplishing the impossible was no less incredible.
The moment the gates opened in the US $10 million affair, the 4YO colt’s chances were all but lost when horses to the outside and inside pinched him back to last. Appearing helplessly beaten from the get-go, he spotted the field several lengths and was placed in an astern position he had never experienced. But Arrogate would not be denied. Quickly gaining composure under confident handling, the highest-rated horse in the world gradually inhaled his opponents one-by-one in dramatic, deliberate fashion. The anticipation of the crowd grew with each horse he put away until he finally got to country-mate, subsequent Breeders’ Cup Classic Gr.1 winner and American Horse of the Year Gun Runner… but the showdown lasted mere moments as Arrogate passed his chestnut rival in an instant. Forging to the front, he won comfortably in the end, blowing the proverbial roof off the gargantuan Meydan grandstand and becoming the richest racehorse to ever look through a bridle. Trainer Bob Baffert was quoted saying, “We had not seen a performance like that since (1973 American Triple Crown winner) Secretariat.”
Previous to the Dubai World Cup, Arrogate won the $1 million Travers Stakes Gr.1, $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic Gr.1 and $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Gr.1 in succession. He won on the lead, stalking and coming from behind, while making countless Gr.1 winners and numerous champions from around the globe look like ordinary horses. And he did it with style. There is only one Arrogate and on March 25, 2017, the world saw the culmination of his greatness