Bloodlines Presented By Caracaro: Alittleloveandluck To Kick Start Arrogate’s First Crop

Getting the New Year off to the right start, Alittleloveandluck (by Arrogate) became her sire’s first stakes winner with a powerful finish in the Ginger Brew Stakes at Gulfstream on Jan. 1.

The racers by the champion 3-year-old of 2016 have generally been horses of good size, and like their sire, they have the look of athletes who probably would appreciate some time as they come along. When Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms bought Arrogate as a yearling in the 2014 Keeneland September sale for $540,000, there were hopes of his being a bit more forward.

Juddmonte’s Garrett O’Rourke said, “When we bought him, he wasn’t what I thought of as a leggy Unbridled’s Song, but by August of the next year, he’d grown into a leggy animal, and then we had to let him have time to balance out and strengthen into that frame.

“When horses are growing, they can look awkward. They will grow out of proportion in one way or another, and it’s common sense that they should be better athletes if you let them get it together on their schedule. When they do get balanced, they run up to their abilities.

“This fellow was worth the wait.”

Indeed, Arrogate was worth everything. After finishing third on debut on April 17 of his 3-year-old season, Arrogate buried his competition in a maiden special and a pair of allowances with the manner of a horse who had places to go.

So trainer Bob Baffert sent him to Saratoga, and the Grade 1 Travers was his stakes debut. The galloping gray won by 13 1/2 lengths and set a new track record of 1:59.36. With exhilarating victories in the Travers and Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2016, then the Pegasus Cup and Dubai Cup in 2017, Arrogate proved himself the best horse in training during that period.

His final three starts were losses against competition he’d been handling previously and left a sense of perplexity for those assessing form, but at his best, Arrogate was a marvelous racer and breeders sent him a book of mares that indicated their assessment of the horse was as high as handicappers.

Retired to Juddmonte for the 2018 season, Arrogate covered good-sized books of mares in his first three seasons at stud. The results from the juvenile racing have been slow coming, including from Juddmonte’s own stock, all of whom were retained in the American training program.

“We had a lot that went through the typical stages,” O’Rourke said. “They were showing talent, got runs in, then had a tibia soreness, bone bruising, or sore shins. We brought those home, either for turnout or light activity to keep them ticking over, and a lot of them have gone back to training. We’re hoping a few nice, talented ones are in the group.”

Knowing when to go on and when to ease up is a key exercise of horsemanship, especially for breeders racing their own stock. Often enough all owners get a horse who develops the muscle to go on but possibly not the physical sturdiness or maybe the bone hardness or even the mental readiness to take on the challenges of racing. Except with time.

From her race results, Alittleloveandluck wasn’t one who needed time off, beginning her racing at Saratoga in August and continuing monthly thereafter until she scored a maiden special victory at Gulfstream on Nov. 11. The Ginger Brew was her next start.

Out of Canadian champion turf mare Points of Grace (Point Given), Alittleloveandluck is a half-sister to 2016 Canadian champion juvenile filly Victory to Victory (Exchange Rate).

This filly was one of a baker’s dozen juveniles by Arrogate who won their maidens last year, and their cumulative results were good enough to push the sire to 13th on the freshman sire list. From the first crop of 100, 35 have started, for earnings of $876,759 from a first’s season’s racing that produced no black-type horses.

Until the first day of 2022.

Progress from the stallion’s colts and fillies is a point of considerable interest to racing fans, as well as to breeders and buyers, because there won’t be an endless supply of Arrogates.

In late May of 2020, the 7-year-old was found lying in his stall at Juddmonte, unable to rise. Some of the most celebrated veterinarians from Hagyard and Rood & Riddle equine clinics were brought in to assess and evaluate the situation. But there was nothing to be done.

Arrogate was euthanized on June 2.

“The autopsy showed that he had a core lesion on his spinal cord,” O’Rourke said. “When evaluating the situation, the best vets available could not determine an external cause for the injury.

“Arrogate was such a high-energy horse that could not keep his legs on the ground. He loved to buck and run in his paddock; it was his playtime. The only thing that I’ve been able to think is that maybe he just played around so hard that his own exuberance caused the problem.”

A reason wouldn’t make the result any better.

“It was a very hard pill to swallow,” O’Rourke said, “but we hope that he will leave a legacy.”

That hope for the great gray casts a hint of rose on the morning clouds, adds hope to the normalcy of farm life, and brightens the dream that one of those yearlings or young race prospects might be the one.

The post Bloodlines Presented By Caracaro: Alittleloveandluck To Kick Start Arrogate’s First Crop appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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