Arrogate overcomes bad start to win $10m Dubai World Cup
Winning Jockey Mike smith celebrates world cup victory with Arrogate (USA) 2000M after winning the Dubai World Cup 2017.
Dubai - The conditions were difficult and so was the start, with Arrogate stumbling out of Gate 9.
This was perhaps, the second coming. The last time Bob Baffert was here for the Dubai World Cup, he had suffered a heart attack.
Highlights of the Dubai World Cup 2017
After undergoing an emergency surgery where stents were placed in two blocked arteries, the champion American trainer lived to fight another day.
Returning to Dubai for the first time, after that day in 2012, the four-time Kentucky Derby, six Preakness Stakes, two Belmont Stakes and two Kentucky Oaks winner, saddled hot favourite Arrogate to the biggest race in horse racing history.
DWC 2017: Arrogate wins $10 million Dubai World Cup
After prepping Silver Charm and Captain Steve to the big prize in 1998 and 2001 respectively, Baffert landed his third winner at the $10 million Dubai World Cup on Saturday night.
The conditions were difficult and so was the start, with Arrogate stumbling out of Gate 9, to be left right at the back of the 14-horse pack.
But Arrogate showed the true champion that he is as he made ground, swooped around from the outside before pulling away to the winning post at the Meydan Racecourse.
All about targets for Arrogate
Nicknamed the 'Blue Locomotive,' he left the rest of the field in his wake as well as the spectators in awe, to win by two and quarter lengths, under Mike Smith.
Gun Runner, trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Florent Geroux, was second, while the Todd Pletcher-trained Neolithic, the ride of John Velazquez, was third.
"When he missed the break, I gave him no chance at all. I thought that was it and I was mad at myself for bringing him here. That's the greatest I've ever seen. That's unbelievable. That is a great horse right there," said Baffert.
"Mike Smith did a great job, he didn't panic. What a job he did. When he turned for home I said to myself if he wins this will be the greatest horse we've seen since Secretariat," he added.
Smith too echoed Baffert.
"I always worry about the break with this horse. Mike was patient with him but down the back I had no hope at all. Great horse, great jockey and a great team I have behind me," said Smith.
"I thought I was watching the movie Seabiscuit. I told my wife 'if this horse wins he's the most incredible horse I've seen in my life'. Prince Khalid and everyone at Juddmonte Farms has been so patient with us. He's going to have a little break so maybe in August," he added.
Awardee, Lani plan two-pronged attack on favourite Arrogate
It was Arrogate's seventh win in 8 starts and the 11th win by an American horse.
Mike de Kock's Mubtaahij, who had finished runner-up to California Chrome last year, was fourth, under Christophe Soumillon, while Japan's Awardee was fifth.
Arrogate's stablemate Hoppertunity came in sixth. Godolphin's Move Up, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, was 10th.
"I was travelling as well as I could have hoped turning in and thought we had a great chance of victory until Arrogate arrived and he was just awesome," said Florent Geroux, who rode Gun Runner.
Meanwhile, Velazquez, who rode Neolithic, said: "I think it was a good race and we have run into a champion, but he ran super and was doing his best work at the finish.