A freak performance in the Travers Stakes this year was not expected, but that is exactly what the racing world got. Arrogate, a 3-year-old colt by Unbridled’s Song, shocked all by winning the Midsummer Derby — not only by 13 ½ lengths, but in new track and course record time.
The fact that Arrogate was able to do what he did is amazing.
Not only did he record splits of :23.23, :46.84, 1:10.85, 1:35.52 and a final time of 1:59.36, but he also did so in only his fifth career start after coming out of a three-horse field in an allowance race at Del Mar.
The Travers was the colt’s stakes debut.
Pedigree might have come into play, as well as talent, in this monstrous run. The colt is from the second-to-last crop of the legendary Unbridled’s Song, who passed away in 2013. The stallion, however, left a lasting impact on the thoroughbred racing industry, especially with his daughters Octave and Unrivaled Belle and his sons, Dunkirk and Old Fashioned.
Arrogate had been running consistently at one and one sixteenth miles out in California, but only against allowance — and some might say questionable — company. When he came East, the competition was expected to toughen, but Arrogate made the competition look like the allowance company that he left in California.
Arrogate is the only foal for the Distorted Humor mare Bubbler that is racing. She does have a yearling Medaglia d’Oro filly and a Giant’s Causeway weanling filly.
Bubbler was a minor stakes winner in her racing days and even placed in the Grade III Ouija Board Distaff Handicap. Bubbler also won starts on both turf and dirt, from distances of six furlongs to one and one eighth miles.
Distorted Humor is still a hot commodity in Kentucky, but, as a racehorse, he was an amazing miler, winning multiple stakes races, including the Grade II Salvator Mile Handicao and the Grade III Ack Ack Handicap.
Distorted Humor is the broodmare sire of 1,094 named foals of racing age, with 474 (43 percent) winners.
Arrogate, should he come out of the Travers Stakes in good condition, will likely have a race before the Breeders’ Cup Classic. From a pedigree standpoint, Arrogate has the back class to be any kind of horse and, if he can stay sound, he could be a very highly regarded horse for the rest of the time he graces the track.