Arrogate comes from last to win $10M Dubai World Cup easily
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Arrogate showed his class again as he came from dead last out of the stalls to win the Dubai World Cup by an impressive 2 1/4 lengths on Saturday.
With the win, four-year-old Arrogate became the highest-earning racehorse ever, surpassing California Chrome, winner of the same race last year. Arrogate has grossed $17,084,600 for winning seven races out of eight in his career.
In the second richest horse race in the world at $10 million, run over dirt and 2,000 meters at Meydan Racecourse, Arrogate produced a powerful finish under jockey Mike Smith to beat Gun Runner and Neolithic in a 1-2-3 for the U.S.
The winning time was 2 minutes, 2.15 seconds - slower than the course record set by Chrome last year - but understandable given the soft conditions after a second straight day of rain and thunderstorms in Dubai.
Even halfway into the race, Arrogate was nowhere in the picture, but last year's runner-up Mubtaahij was showing encouraging form as jockey Christophe Soumillon managed to settle near the rail from his wide draw of 14 out of 14.
Arrogate, the No. 1-rated racehorse in the world, started gaining momentum around the 800-meter mark and swept past more than half a dozen rivals before setting his sight on the leaders.
At the top of the straight, Smith was wide and finding a clear path, and coaxed Arrogate to hit top gear. With 200 remaining, he caught the leaders, and the result was never in doubt with the last 100 remaining.
A relieved Smith said: ''The start, it just went wrong and was not what he was used to; he missed it and then found traffic. I thought that was it but this horse is unbelievable.
''He found his massive stride and galloped, carrying me into the race, then quickening in the straight, and actually winning quite easily.
''This horse can do anything; he can win in the lead, he can come from dead last, he hasn't even taken a breath. What a horse!''
Arrogate gave trainer Bob Baffert his third Dubai World Cup victory after Silver Charm (1998), and Captain Steve (2001).
''I looked away after 50 meters and prayed Mike would just bring him back safely,'' Baffert said.
''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.' But that's the greatest horse I've ever seen run, I can't believe he won.''
Vivlos of Japan, trained by Yasuo Tomomichi and ridden by Joao Moreira, won the Dubai Turf over 1,800 meters, one of the two races on the card offering $6 million in prize money. Moreira left it late to break from the outside and catch Heshem and Godolphin's Ribchester over the last 100 meters.
Ribchester, under William Buick, looked solid until caught by Heshem with less than 100 meters to go. Both were outsprinted by Vivlos to give Japan a second win in the race in two years. Real Steel, who was a non-runner this year, won in 2016.
The other $6 million race, the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic over 2,410 meters, was claimed comfortably by Godolphin-owned and John Gosden-trained Jack Hobbs.
In a race in which only seven went to the post, Jack Hobbs was bunched up with three others but jockey William Buick forced a powerful finish. Jack Hobbs surged from 300 meters out to beat Seventh Heaven and Postponed, the defending champion.
Belgian jockey Soumillon was a back-to-back winner earlier, making a very late charge on Vazirabad to win the 3,200-meter Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup, followed by a photo-finish in the UAE Derby where he powered Godolphin's Thunder Snow to win by a nose over Epicharis.