It only took two races for Arrogate to prove exactly what he’s worth to this incredible sport. The now four-year-old champion has been awarded the 2017 Longines World’s Best Racehorse title, beating out California Chrome. He did the very same on the track when the two met at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in last season’s grand finale. That victory helped Arrogate earn enough points in the Longines rating system to win the award.
Arrogate totalled 134 points after the Breeders’ Cup Classic to beat out California Chrome, who had 133 points by season’s end. The body of work between the two is starkly different and may be a point of contention in how the 2016 Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings were determined.
To be fair, California Chrome competed in six races last year, going 5-1-0 throughout those challenges. That volume of work should, in itself, give him an edge in the 2016 Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings. The now six-year-old competitor won a Dubai Handicap, the Dubai World Cup, the San Diego Handicap, Pacific Classic and Awesome Again Stakes before placing second to Arrogate at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in a hotly anticipated showdown. California Chrome’s wins at the San Diego Handicap and Pacific were monumental at the time as well.
By comparison, Arrogate ran in only the Travers Stakes and the aforementioned Breeders’ Cup Classic. But his performances in those races were earth shattering. He broke a 37-year old track record in winning the Travers by 13 1/2 lenghts, and his speed rating at the Classic was one of the fastest recorded all year.
Finishing third in the standings for the 2016 Longines World’s Best Racehorse rankings was Winx out of Australia, followed by Almanzor from France and Japan’s A Shin Hikari.
“It is a great honor and a thrill that the Breeders’ Cup Classic has been selected the world’s highest rated race of 2016,” said Craig Fravel, president of the Breeders’ Cup. “Arrogate and California Chrome put on a tremendous display for all of racing that day at Santa Anita Park, and to showcase such an exciting event on an international stage means so much to us. Bob Baffert said it best: ‘We are just so proud to have horses like these. It’s all about the horses.’ Our sincere thanks to the IFHA, and to Longines for their remarkable commitment to Thoroughbred racing.”
Arrogate and California Chrome will compete yet again in the 2017 Pegasus World Cup which offers a purse of $12 million. The race unfolds this Saturday, January 28th at Gulfstream.