Arrogate (foaled April 11, 2013) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2016 Travers Stakes in a track record in his first stakes appearance. He then won the Breeders' Cup Classic and was named the American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse and World's Best Racehorse of 2016. To start his four-year-campaign, he won the 2017 Pegasus World Cup in a new track record.
Arrogate is a gray colt bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms. As a yearling, the colt was consigned to the Keeneland September sale and was bought for $560,000 by Juddmonte Farms, the racing operation of Khalid bin Abdullah. Arrogate was sent into training with Bob Baffert in California. Arrogate's front teeth were knocked back as a yearling, probably after being kicked by another horse. One tooth became infected and was removed, which slows down his eating but otherwise has no impact.
Arrogate was sired by the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Unbridled's Song, whose other major winners have included Will Take Charge, the sprinter Zensational and Breeders' Cup winners Unrivaled Belle and Unbridled Elaine. Arrogate's dam Bubbler was a successful racemare who won six of her nine races.
Arrogate made his track debut in a six-furlong maiden race at Los Alamitos Race Course on April 17, 2016. Ridden by Martin Garcia, he started the odds-on favorite but finished third behind Westbrook and Accelerate. On June 5, he was moved up in distance and recorded his first victory in a maiden race over 1 1⁄16 miles (1.7 km) at Santa Anita Park, leading from the start and winning by two and a half lengths from Giant Expectations. He was partnered in this race by Rafael Bejarano, who rode him in his next two races. Nineteen days later, at the same track, Arrogate contested an allowance race against older horses and won again, beating Fusaichi Samurai by five and a quarter lengths after leading from start. On August 4, the colt appeared in an allowance race at Del Mar and started odd-on favorite against two older opponents. After racing in third place in the early running, he took the lead in the straight and won by one and three quarter lengths.
On August 27, Arrogate was moved up sharply in class to contest the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course in which his rivals included Exaggerator and Creator, winners respectively of the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Bejarano elected to ride another of Baffert's horses, American Freedom, so veteran jockey Mike Smith picked up the ride. Having drawn post position 1 in a large field, Arrogate was ridden hard from the starting gate and set fast opening fractions. As they turned into the stretch, he broke clear of his rivals, eventually winning by thirteen and a half lengths over his stablemate American Freedom, with Creator finishing seventh and Exaggerator eleventh.
His final time of 1:59.36 for the 1 1⁄4 miles (2.0 km) distance eclipsed General Assembly's Travers and track record of 2:00 that had stood for 37 years. Baffert said, "You're always hoping that they're that good. I knew he was good, but I didn't know he was really, really that kind of good." The horse earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 122 for his effort and became a contender for the year end Eclipse award
On November 5, Arrogate entered the Breeders' Cup Classic as the second favorite behind 5-year-old California Chrome. ‘Chrome led from the outset, while Arrogate tracked sitting third. The two horses engaged in the homestretch and in the final yards, Arrogate surged ahead to defeat California Chrome by a half a length at the finish. The two horses dominated the remainder of the field by over 10 lengths. Art Sherman said of Arrogate, "That winner is the real McCoy, I knew he was the one we had to beat, but I didn't know how good he was." Post race analysis gave California Chrome a Beyer Speed Figure of 119, the highest of his career, but Arrogate topped it with a 120.
The race earned Arrogate the top position in the World's Best Racehorse Rankings published by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities on November 10 with a rating of 134, one point ahead of California Chrome. Arrogate was voted the Eclipse Award as American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse but finished second behind California Chrome in the Horse of the Year balloting.
Arrogate was originally scheduled to begin his four-year-old campaign in the San Pasqual Stakes but heavy rains at Santa Anita caused Baffert to scratch from the race. Instead, he trained Arrogate up to the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 28, 2017. The race was promoted as a final matchup with California Chrome, who was retiring to stud after the race. Both horses were compromised by the post position draw. Arrogate drew post position one and risked getting trapped along the rail in traffic. California Chrome drew the outside post position which caused him to be carried wide in the first turn. California Chrome eventually settled behind the early leaders alongside Arrogate but could not respond when the latter made his move, possibly having wrenched his leg early in the race. California Chrome was eased to prevent the possibility of further injury and finished ninth. Meanwhile, Arrogate swept to the lead and drew off to win by nearly five lengths over longshot Shaman Ghost. The timing of the race proved controversial. The original time, measured by Trakus based on transmitters in the horses' saddlecloths, was 1:47.61. However, clocking experts hand-timed the race almost a second faster, at around 1:46.9. The timing controversy caused the Beyer Speed Figure for Arrogate to be increased from 116 to 119. Gulfstream did a frame-by-frame video analysis and determined the correct time was 1:46.83, a new track record.Arrogate is inbred 4 × 4 to Mr Prospector, meaning that this stallion appears twice in the fourth generation of his pedigree.