Meydan racecaller Terry Spargo proclaimed Arrogate the “21st century Man o' War” after the modern-day superstar turned in a performance for the ages in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) on March 25.
With the $6 million payday, Arrogate became racing's all-time leading earner, with $17,084,600. He is also Bob Baffert's third winner of the race, joining Silver Charm in 1998 and Captain Steve in 2001.
Arrogate's victory didn't look too promising when he was squeezed back at the break and found himself in last in the 14-horse field the first time past the finish line, far different than his usual front-running style.
Arrogate's Hall of Fame rider decided to take his time with the 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song rather than rush him into to contention. Smith kept Arrogate well off the rail for the backstretch run, and was still near the back entering the final turn, when he began to pass horses.
Gun Runner had taken the lead with about a quarter-mile to run, with Arrogate rolling past horses with huge strides. He collared the hard-trying Gun Runner with a furlong to run and went on to hit the wire about three lengths in front under a hand ride by Smith.
Baffert was stunned by the remarkable performance. “When he broke (bad), I said to myself 'Maybe I shouldn't have brought him.' Unbelievable. I'm at a loss for words, to be part of this horse is (so) special.”
Smith, who has ridden many incredible horses, was likewise overwhelmed by his mount.
“This is the best horse I ever rode. I missed the break completely. I really did say to myself down the backside that I'm going to ride him like Zenyatta. I get all this glory riding this horse, but the thanks go (everyone who takes care of him).”
Last year's 3-year-old champion male, Arrogate has won seven of eight starts, including the Pegasus World Cup (G1), Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) and Travers S. (G1).