First-Crop Sires: Florida Stakes Winner, Foreign Runners Boost Arrogate

Profile Picture: Alastair Bull

December 31st, 2021

As 2022 begins, the first crop of outstanding galloper Arrogate are beginning to make their mark – and in surprising places.

Since the last update in early November, Arrogate has had his first stakes winner as a sire, on the first day of 2022. In addition, the number of first-crop winners by the sadly-deceased son of Unbridled's Song has increased from seven to 13.

And while most North American sires are relying on their home tracks to make a name for themselves, Arrogate’s progeny are pushing their sire’s credentials overseas, particularly on the dirt tracks of Japan and Dubai. Of his 13 winners, four have been in Japan and one in Dubai.

Arrogate’s first stakes winner is the filly Alittleloveandluck. Out of the Point Given mare Points of Grace, she improved throughout her two-year-old season, winning on the Gulfstream Park All-Weather on her fourth start Nov. 12. Owner-trainer Michael Dini then sent her out on the Gulfstream turf for the Listed Ginger Brew Stakes over one mile on New Year’s Day, where she came from an awkward spot at the top of the stretch to power home for a half-length victory.

Arrogate’s sole Dubai runner was a very impressive one. A $100,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, Taking Names was then re-sold at the OBS June Sale this year for $150,000. Now owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, a cousin of Godolphin head Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he earned TDN Rising Star status after an 8 1/4 length victory on debut over six furlongs at Meydan Nov. 18. A half-sister to graded stakes winners Mani Bhavan and Hear the Ghost, Taking Names has since finished fourth in the Mirdif Stakes at Meydan Dec. 16.

No doubt impressed by Arrogate’s stunning victories in the Travers (G1), Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Pegasus World Cup (G1), and Dubai World Cup (G1), Japanese buyers sought out his first-crop progeny, paying very good money for some of them. Those buyers included Yuji Hasegawa, who went to $750,000 – the top sale price for any Arrogate first-crop yearling – for a colt out of the Storm Cat mare Crosswinds at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Since named Poison Arrow, he registered his first victory in six starts at Nakayama on Christmas Day, scoring by four lengths over 1800m (about 1 1/8 miles).

Two Arrogate winners in Japan were bought at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Sale last year. One, the $200,000 purchase Jasper Great, won in Japan in October and then competed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). The second was Foolish Hobby, a $260,000 buy at that sale for Parker Place Racing.

Foolish Hobby (ex Flatter Up) was re-sold for $450,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale to Colombo Bloodstock Agency. Now racing for Chizu Yoshida, wife of Shadai Farm owner Teruya Yoshida, she won on debut over 1800m at Hanshin Nov.27 by a neck from another Arrogate filly, Shailene.

Arguably the most impressive of the Japanese winners was the filly Ju Taro. Bred in Kentucky by Breffni Farm, who paid $350,000 for her dam Bodacious Babe at the Keeneland November sale in 2018 when carrying Ju Taro, the filly foal eventually found her way to Japan, where she is raced by Michiko Haga. She put up a stunning effort to win on debut at Hanshin Nov. 13 by 12 lengths and will be watched with interest.

There have also been two new winners for Arrogate in the United States since the last update here. The first, Caragate, won over a mile at Aqueduct Dec. 9, proving too tough in the stretch. Out of the Lawyer Ron mare Carameaway, Caragate had run four times previously and had finished second at her two previous starts, both at Belmont Park.

The other was Avow (ex Peace Preserver), who won for trainer Todd Pletcher at Gulfstream Park Dec. 16. The $300,000 Keeneland September purchase was at even money on debut and didn’t disappoint, racing away for an eight-length victory over 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt despite stumbling at the start and having to come from last.

Arrogate succumbed to an illness in 2020 which prevented him serving that season. He left behind two crops, and though his first crop has yet to produce a stakes winner, his progeny have arguably done everything that could have been expected.

It needs to be remembered that Arrogate didn’t race until April of his three-year-old season, and he never won at less than 1 1/16 miles. His four supreme grade one victories were all between 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/4 miles.

Considering this, anything his progeny have done as two-year-olds can be seen as a bonus, and the more rapid onset of winners since early November highlights the fact they should be better as they mature. In addition, the fact their average winning distance as of Dec. 27 was 7.57 furlongs – well above any North American-based first-crop sire with more than one winner – shows they should get better as the distances increase as well.

All this suggests is that Arrogate’s first crop are well worth watching as three-year-olds.