Arrogate

Arrogate  Arrogate, who was retired from racing at the end of his four-year-old campaign in November, 2017, has the distinction of being the highest earning racehorse in the world. The son of Unbridled’s Song ended his career on a low note, with three defeats in a row, but, in a period of eighteen months or so, won seven of his 11 starts and amassed $17.4 million, or £13.6 million, in prize money.

Owned by Juddmonte Farms, under the auspices of Saudi Arabian Prince Khalid Abdullah, and trained by Bob Baffert, Arrogate was unraced as a juvenile. He made a low-key debut as a three-year-old, when last of three – albeit just a neck and half a length – in a maiden race, over 6 furlongs, at Los Alamitos at odds of 1/2. However, he quickly made up for lost time, winning his next three starts, all at odds-on, before lining up in the Grade One Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Having just his fifth start, and his first under jockey Mike ‘Big Money’ Smith, Arrogate not only registered an impressive, 13½-length win over American Freedom but, in so doing, recorded the fastest time over a mile and a quarter in the 155-year history of Saratoga Racecourse.

Smith certainly lived up to his popular nickname because, in a period of less than five months, between November, 2016 and March, 2017, he partnered Arrogate to victory in three of the most valuable races in the world. The Grade One Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, worth £2.24 million to the winner, was dominated – in terms of the betting market and the race itself – by Arrogate and 2016 American Horse of the Year California Chrome; Arrogate produced a sustained run to lead close home and win by half a length, with a yawning 10¾-length gap back to the third horse. The Grade One Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, worth £5.69 million, resulted in another facile, 4¾-length win and another track record, while the Grade One Dubai World Cup at Meydan, worth £4.88 million, had a similar outcome, with Arrogate comfortably defeating 2017 American Horse of the Year Gunner Runner by 2¼ lengths.

Saratoga Racecourse

Saratoga Racecourse  Located in Saratoga Springs, the Saratoga Racecourse goes way back to 1863, when the very first thoroughbred racetrack was opened. It was a meet that lasted four days and its success gave birth to the Travers Stakes the very next year. Apart from being regarded, arguably, as the third oldest horseracing track in the country, Saratoga Racecourse is widely known as the country’s oldest venue for any organized sports.

The course has three tracks. The dirt track is 1,811m long while the turf track runs for 1mile. The inner turf is 1,408m long. The Racecourse hosts Grade I, II and III races as well as ungraded and steeplechase races. Major stakes races held at the Saratoga Racecourse include the Travers Stakes, the Alabama Stakes, the Hopeful Stakes and the Whitney Handicap, which is a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The racing season begins in July and runs until September. 

Only the best have the courage to compete at the historic grounds of the Saratoga Racecourse and this forms part of the story behind its nickname. The racecourse earned its name ?he Graveyard of Champions” when an unlikely horse defeated the then Triple Crown winner in 1930. This was again repeated in 2015 when the TC winner, American Pharaoh, lost at the Travers Stakes.

The racecourse has also featured in scenes in a number of movies including Saratoga, Ghost Story, Seabiscuit, Billy Bathgate, The Horse Whisperer and My Old Man. Authors like Ian Fleming, Stephen Dobyns and Edna Ferber have also etched the beauty of the
racecourse into their words.

Thinking of spending time at the Clubhouse this season? Point to note: stick to the proper dress code. Nothing short, whether it is tops or bottoms. Same applies to the Luxury Suites and the Box Seats. No jeans either at the Box Seats.

Meydan Racecourse

Meydan Racecourse  Meydan Racecourse is a top-notch horse racing facility tied to the expansive Meydan Hotel. The racecourse in Dubai, UAE, was opened on 27 March 2010. It was opened to replace the Al Sheba course which stood on the same site. The sprawling complex includes a gallery, horseracing museum as well as the 5-star Meydan Hotel. The racetrack can hold a maximum capacity of over 60,000 spectators, placing it right up there with the best racing tracks in the world.

The racecourse cost a mind boggling $1.25 billion to construct and has a five-star hotel as well as the Maydan Marina, two racetracks as well as a Grandstand used for spectacular viewing during race meetings and entertaining guests all through the year.

The track has a 2,400m left-handed turf with a left-handed 8.75-furlong dirt. The track hosts race meetings that attract lots of fans from November to March. The most popular race is Dubai Cup Night, which is known to be the world’s richest race event- the prize money well over US$26.25 million. It also hosts other races such as the Dubai Carnival & Winter Challenge.

The awe-inspiring complex has a lot more to offer than horseracing and offers conference services and hospitality services when the racing calendar is yet to commence. The Meydan is one of the mega real estate projects known to be closely tied to Rashid Al Maktoum. The venue has hosted a lot of famous music artists such as Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Sia and Janet Jackson. The hotel section has established itself as one of the finest places to stay for holiday makers looking to have some fun in the sand. The Meydan as surpassed a lot of the top racecourses and is known across the world for its sheer size, taste and grandeur. It is a fine place to spend time in.