If you haven’t seen the race yet, you’re in for a treat. Let’s see it again.
Arrogate, leaving the gate: “Ooops.” Then, “I’m good. We got this, Mike. Hang on.”
Not only did Arrogate come from dead last to leave them all in his wake — some of the best and most well-heeled horses in the world — he wasn’t even out-of-breath on the jog to the winner’s enclosure.
On TV before the race, jockey Mike Smith talked up Arrogate’s lung capacity and cardio fitness. Mike wasn’t kidding.
So, now the last holdout horse racing fans are believers, but what about Rory Red Roses and Maisie Mint Julep, the party people who are surprised to find out there are more horse races than the Kentucky Derby? (They’re out there, Gentle Reader.)
Are you a believer?
If nothing else, skeptics hafta admire his earnings. Three races, so far, and an estimated $17 million in earnings.
Yes, more than California Chrome, who so briefly held the penthouse spot in racehorse earnings in his long career.
Arrogate got there in only four races. Boom!
Not to disrespect Chrome. Not in the least.
That leads to the whole point of this post.
My question is, will the general public fall in love with Arrogate, without the spotlight of an American Triple Crown race?
Fans add excitement — and those crucial dollars
Man O’War and Seabiscuit galvanized the public, even years after their racing careers.
Heck, I suspect Man O’War’s fans inspired the entire equine tourism business in the Bluegrass by insisting on visiting him when he stood at stud.
So, for Arrogate …
Will we see fans like Pharoah Phreaks in Egyptian regalia?
— NBCSN (@NBCSN) June 6, 2015
Will he bring together a passionate group like the “Chromies?”
Or “I’ll Have Another Pedicure” fundraiser?
Let alone like the Godmother of Them All: Zenyatta. (You can’t tell me you don’t check in on Zenyatta’s blog from time to time for updates and baby pictures.)
So, let’s create a clever fan community name. 🙂
Most fan communities use word play on the horse’s name.
So, Arrogate. What does the word even mean?
You can break down the word and come close … .
I’m arrogating right now. 😉
Arrogate is a verb, an appropriate word to name a racehorse — a creature of speed and action — let alone a superlative one.
Stop teasing us and tell us what it means!
According to Merriam-Webster, to arrogate is to:
1a : to claim or seize without justification
1b : to make undue claims to having : assume
2 : to claim on behalf of another : ascribe
So, yup. I arrogated. I “claimed on behalf of another.” I’m arrogantly invented a name for Arrogate fans.
Uh, really? That’s the best you have?
Fans could hold up toy “gators” at trackside. Except that would require some schooling for our idol. Maybe that’s not such a great idea after all, as I imagine our hero side-eyeing fans waving stuffed or rubber toys at him while he’s being led into the saddling area.
(Baffert assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, who’s often on the end of one of those lead shanks — if he’s reading this — is probably thinking, oh, please no.)
But toy alligators often already come in that Juddmonte Stables shade of green. Maybe the toy gators could wear pink ribbon sashes, too? (Please show restraint when waving your gators in direct view of Arrogate.)
Or could fans wear dress “gaiters?” They could be part of the fashion show of the track, adding a period or steampunk flavor. (Like, cosplay at the track!) Granted, some gaiters are too casual for the clubhouse on race day, even equestrian half chaps.
In a pinch, we could copy/”be inspired by” the I’ll Have Another pedicures with manicures in the Juddmonte Stables colors.
Calm down, Rhonda. Back off on the caffeine.
Anyway, over the years on this blog, I’ve felt like every other horse racing fan when a beloved favorite retires:
Will I ever fall in love again?
Well, here we go again. 🙂
From Secretariat to Zenyatta to Chrome and Pharoah and now Arrogate. We are, and we shall, and (some of us already) have.
And, when our anointed favorites retire to the breeding farms, we’ll watch for their siblings and then the babies our heroes make, starting from the time the wee ones place dainty hooves on that first bed of straw.
Thoroughbred baby pictures online are among one of my favorite rites of spring.
In the meantime, enjoy this charming video JockeyTalk360 posted on Twitter of Arrogate being visited by his jockey Mike Smith at Meydan after the Dubai World Cup:
— JockeyTalk360 (@JockeyTalk) March 26, 2017
A correction: Arrogate’s race record. He has four wins, not three. Thanks, Marion!