WHO WILL BE THE MORE SUCCESSFUL SIRE: AMERICAN PHAROAH OR ARROGATE?

This time of year is slow in terms of horse-racing news and upcoming big races.  So, with the breeding season only two months away, it is a good time to interject some debatable subjects.

Here’s one:

Who will turn out to be the more successful stallion, American Pharoah or Arrogate?

Both of these horses were sensational racehorses, with American Pharoah winning the American Triple Crown and Arrogate running races with speed and fortitude, such as his overcoming a terrible start in the 2017 Dubai World Cup, and becoming the top-earning racehorse of all time.

My personal view is that while American Pharoah was more consistently at the top of his game than Arrogate, who tailed off badly at the end of his career, Arrogate on his best day would have outrun American Pharoah on his best day.  Bob Baffert, who trained both horses, appears to have the same opinion:  after the Dubai World Cup he said that Arrogate was the best racehorse since Secretariat.

In terms of potential to sire racehorses, the stud-fee market favors American Pharoah.  His initial fee was $200,000 versus $75,000 for Arrogate.  However, Blood-Horse reported: “The 2015 Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah entered stud with a published fee of $200,000, though many breeders disclosed later in the year they had been offered two-for-one deals at that price.”  In 2018, American Pharoah’s stud fee likely has been reduced as it is listed as “private.”

Both horses initially are attracting a gifted book of mares.  As time goes by and their get reach the racetrack, Arrogate or American Pharoah will prove to be better than the other.  My guess is that Arrogate will best American Pharoah.  His dam’s family includes the Grade I winner Meadow Star, whereas American Pharoah’s dam’s family is pedestrian.

Whether American Pharoah and Arrogate go down as highly successful sires is far from a certainty, as there is a long history of great racehorses like Citation disappointing at stud.

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