Lady and The Track | November 29, 2020

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LATT’s Laura Pugh’s Favorite Race of 2016

By Laura Pugh


Making his stakes debut and staking a claim to leadership of the 3-year-old division in one fell swoop, Arrogate wrested command from stablemate American Freedom into the first turn and ran right into the history books, winning the Travers Stakes (GI) in a record time of 1:59.36 before a packed house of 48,630 at Saratoga Race Course.
Photo: Caris Photography, Jesse Caris

It was very hard to choose a favorite performance in a year with so many stellar performances. Songbird dazzled from coast to coast, California Chrome conquered a foreign land while avoiding the Dubai bounce. However, neither California Chrome nor Songbird will lay claim to my personal, most memorable performance of the year. That distinction will go to Arrogate, and not for the race you might think.

The 2016 Travers Stakes (GI) ranks as my favorite performance of the year. Arrogate, just an impressive allowance winner at the time, ran away against a start studded field, stopping the clock in track record time. If wiring the field off if so little experience, winning by 13 lengths, wasn’t impressive enough, his final quarter in under 24 seconds, after completing the first six furlongs in 1:10 and 3/5 seconds, was nothing short of mind blowing.

The 2016 Travers Stakes will go down in history, not just for the records set with the race, but as the day Arrogate revealed to the country, just what an incredible talent he was.