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world rankings

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rior to 2015 one had to go back to 2008 – to when Curlin shared top spot with New Approach – to find a North American runner at the head of World’s Best Racehorse Rankings (then the World Thoroughbred Ranking). So when American Pharoah achieved that honour last year with a figure of 134, the highest achieved by a Dirt runner since the 135 awarded to the mighty Cigar – winner of 16 straight races – the odds of a repeat would have been pretty long. By remarkable coincidence, however, Arrogate, the horse destined to match American Pharoah’s number one ranking was already a stablemate of American Pharoah, lurking as an unraced two-year-old in the barn of trainer Bob Baffert. Continuing the strange synchronicity, there are pedigree connections between Arrogate and American Pharoah, as well as his rival in the epic Breeders’ Cup clash California Chrome – the world’s highest-rated older horse in two categories. Arrogate is a son of the late Unbridled’s Song, who died in 2013. Unbridled’s Song was a son of the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)

Cup Mile (G1) hero Liam’s Map, as well as Zensational, Octave, Thorn Song, Splendid Blended and Graydar. California Chrome’s sire Lucky Pulpit – who stands in California – was a Californiatrained Classic hopeful early at three, but won his only stakes sprinting on the Turf at four. The tie to Arrogate comes in that Lucky Pulpit’s dam Lucky Soph, a daughter of Cozzene, is a three-quarters sister to the Caro mare Trolley Song, the dam of Unbridled’s Song. We must also note that California Chrome’s dam Love The Chase, who is by Not For Love (a three-quarters brother to Woodman) is inbred 3x3 to Champion racemare Numbered Account, who in turn had the three-quarters sisters Busanda/Striking 2x3 . Both are granddaughters of La Troienne, the most important mare imported to the US in the course of the 20th century. The Fappiano line that has led to Arrogate, and Caro, in the pedigrees of both Arrogate and California Chrome, has separately and together begun to exert a shaping influence on North American breeding and particularly on Dirt runners. Fappiano bore far more resemblance to his broodmare sire, Dr. Fager. He was a true phenomenon and in 1968 completed the

The Fappiano line that has led to Arrogate, and Caro, in the pedigrees of both Arrogate and California Chrome, has separately and together begun to exert a shaping influence on North American breeding and particularly on Dirt runners victor Unbridled (who is also in the maleline of American Pharoah), and from the Fappiano branch of the Mr. Prospector line. Injuries prevented Unbridled’s Song from fully realising his potential as a runner, but at his best, in efforts such as the Florida Derby (G1) and the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1), he appeared almost invincible. Although his offspring have a tendency to be somewhat brittle, especially if exploited early, Unbridled’s Song has been responsible for a string of exciting Dirt runners. He’s been represented by 55 graded stakes winners, 22 Grade 1, the best known in addition to Arrogate being champion threeyear-old Will Take Charge, champion twoyear-old colt Midshipman, the 2015 Breeders’

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remarkable grand slam of champion older horse, champion sprinter, champion Turf horse and Horse of the Year. He was the first, and will almost certainly be the last, to accumulate those honours in a single year. Dr. Fager was the archetype of what has become the modern Classic type US Dirt horse – shows considerable early speed and wins by virtue of slowing down less than his opponents. To give a human comparison, we’d say that they have a parallel in the speed-based 800m runner, such as the twice Olympic champion David Rudisha, rather than the more aerobic 800m/1500m type, which in an earlier age was embodied by runners such as Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett.

Profile for Thoroughbred Publishing

ITB_March_April 2017  

We speak to champion UAE trainer Doug Watson ahead of the Dubai World Cup, we put some data behind the Jockey Club's Kempton Park proposals,...

ITB_March_April 2017  

We speak to champion UAE trainer Doug Watson ahead of the Dubai World Cup, we put some data behind the Jockey Club's Kempton Park proposals,...