With stakes winners on the West Coast and the East Coast on successive days, at Del Mar on July 28 and at Saratoga on July 29, Arrogate (by Unbridled’s Song) doubled his total number of stakes winners.
From the sire’s first crop, now three, Arrogate’s first stakes winner, Alittleloveandluck, came on New Year’s Day, then subsequent Grade 1 winner Secret Oath won the G3 Honeybee on her way to victory in the G1 Kentucky Oaks and becoming one of the best fillies of the year, and a third filly, Fun to Dream, won the Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar on Thursday.
Bred in California by Bob Baffert and Connie Pageler, Fun to Dream is unbeaten in two starts. The filly made her debut on May 28 at Santa Anita and won the maiden special by 6 ¼ lengths as the odds-on favorite while trained by Sean McCarthy.
Back to being trained by Baffert after his return from the wilderness, Fun to Dream made her second start in the Fleet Treat, an event restricted to California-bred or -sired fillies, and again was favored. This time, the gray filly won by 9 ¾ lengths in 1:22.67 for seven furlongs.
The dam of Fun to Dream, Lutess (Maria’s Mon), was claimed by Bob Baffert on behalf of Live Your Dream Stable for $8,000 on Feb. 17, 2012, and Lutess thus became a broodmare. Fun to Dream races for Pageler and Natalie Baffert.
The day after Fun to Dream became her sire’s third stakes winner, Artorius won the Curlin Stakes at Saratoga and became the first son of Arrogate to win a stakes.
Bred in Kentucky by Juddmonte Farms, “Artorius isn’t an overly big horse,” according to Juddmonte farm manager Garrett O’Rourke, “and he isn’t especially heavy either. He’s more of a greyhound type, very athletic. He had shins, and things like that delayed his progress.”
Now a winner in two of his three starts, Artorius is clearly progressive and drew off to win the listed Curlin Stakes at Saratoga by 4 ¾ lengths in 1:50.34. The dark bay colt was the second choice in the field of eight.
Artorius had been second in his debut on April 16 at Keeneland, then came back on June 10 to win a maiden special at Belmont, racing a mile in 1:35.07. The colt seemed notably professional in racing inside, then between horses, before going on to win his race. Furthermore, the form seems solid, with Preakness third Creative Minister (Creative Cause) finishing 6 ¼ lengths back of the winner.
The Curlin was the third start for Artorius, and the race was both a step up in class and forward in distance. And it is tempting to say that the Arrogate stock want distance, but Fun to Dream showed plenty of speed in California, racing the six furlongs in 1:09.53 before finishing the seven furlongs in quick time.
Juddmonte supplied a substantial portion of Arrogate’s book each year the gray champion was at stud, and O’Rourke has seen as many of the horse’s offspring as anyone. He said that, in addition to the farm’s 3-year-olds, “we have plenty of 2-year-olds and plenty of yearlings. I always felt our 2-year-old crop was deeper than the 3-year-olds. Some of the 2-year-olds have already gone into training.
“The pattern that I think is emerging is giving them time, and when you get a good one, it’s worth the wait. That was what we found with Arrogate himself. Shins were the problem with Arrogate at two that prompted Bob to send him back to the farm. Then when he went back to training in California, he was ready.”
After winning a maiden and a pair of allowances as a 3-year-old, Arrogate went to Saratoga for the 2016 Travers, where he scorched the earth in a memorable performance. From then through the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus to his victory in the Dubai World Cup, Arrogate was the best horse in the world.
And Juddmonte was planning for the day when he went to stud.
The farm acquired Paulassilverlining (Ghostzapper) privately from breeder Vincent Scuderi after the G2 winner had finished a good third in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly Sprint, then won the Garland of Roses in December 2016. The filly promptly continued to compile a four-race winning streak, earning victories for Juddmonte in the G1 Madison at Keeneland, the G1 Distaff at Churchill Downs, and the G2 Honorable Miss at Saratoga.
Paulassilverlining ran below her best form in her final two starts, the G1 Ballerina and G1 BC Filly Sprint. Then both she and Arrogate were retired to stud in Kentucky, and Artorius was the result of the mare’s first mating. The multiple G1 winner has a 2-year-old filly named Parameter (Into Mischief) with Chad Brown, like the half-brother.
The second-crop sires all toil far in arrears of record-setting Gun Runner ($7.5 million), but Arrogate is a highly respectable third behind Keen Ice (Curlin) ($3.9 million) with $3.5 million in his sire account so far this year. Those are the only second-crop sires with more than $3 million in progeny earnings for 2022.
Arrogate has the smallest number of starters among the top 10 sires on the list; so to be ranked that highly, and with only four stakes winners, the colts and fillies winning maidens are clearly doing so in good company and for good purses. The likelihood is that we will be able to assess the stallion’s overall contribution to greater advantage in 18 to 24 months.