03/27/2017 9:46AM

Even Arrogate couldn't win them all

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Benoit & Associates
Arrogate's (left) only defeat came at the hands of Westbrook (right) in his debut, a six-furlong maiden race last April at Los Alamitos.

ARCADIA, Calif. – It’s hard to believe after his win in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday, but there are two horses in the world who once beat Arrogate.

Last April, Arrogate finished a troubled third in a six-furlong maiden race for 3-year-olds at Los Alamitos, behind Westbrook and Accelerate, who are still active in Southern California. Arrogate has not lost since, compiling a seven-race winning streak that has made him the richest North American-based Thoroughbred in history, with earnings of $17,084,600.

Last Saturday, Arrogate overcame trouble at the start to win the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates. On Jan. 28, he won the world’s richest race, the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.

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Arrogate became the first horse to win consecutive eight-figure races – which seemed unimaginable when he was beaten in his debut in a $45,345 maiden race on a Sunday afternoon last April. Arrogate was popular before he started – at least with bettors. He was the 1-2 favorite in his debut in a field of six. He ran admirably even in defeat.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Arrogate was away slowly and was fifth with a quarter-mile remaining, trailing by 2 1/4 lengths. Then, Arrogate was stuck in traffic early in the long stretch and trailed by three lengths with a furlong to go. Even though he finished with a rush, Arrogate lost by three-quarters of a length to Westbrook, trained by Mike Puype.

“I think we had a little bit of luck,” Puype recalled on Sunday.

Westbrook finished a half-length in front of Accelerate, who was a neck ahead of Arrogate.

Westbrook, owned by Little Red Feather Racing, has won 2 of 8 starts and earned $65,965. He is scheduled to run Sunday in an optional claimer at Santa Anita, Puype said.

Accelerate, owned by Pete and Kosta Hronis, has won 3 of 9 starts and earned $402,880. He won the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby last September and was third behind Tamarkuz and Gun Runner in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita in November, a day before Arrogate won the $6 million BC Classic.

“He might have beaten Gun Runner in the Dirt Mile with a better trip,” trainer John Sadler said on Sunday. “He’s running with good horses all the time.”

Accelerate is a probable starter in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap on April 15. Later this year, Accelerate and Arrogate could meet again, perhaps in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 20.

Westbrook has been a project, Puype said. After beating Arrogate, he lost five races before winning a $50,000 claimer at Santa Anita on Jan. 15. In his last start, on Feb. 18, Westbrook was fifth of eight at 5-2, beaten 3 1/2 lengths.

“He’s been a little disappointing,” Puype said. “He needs things to go his way. At Los Al, he was in the clear. He needs a good post and a good trip.”

Last Saturday, Puype watched in admiration as jockey Mike Smith guided Arrogate around the field in the Dubai World Cup to score an electrifying win.

“I thought it was the greatest performance I’ve seen,” Puype said. “The horse has like three gears. He’s very impressive.

“We’re witnessing complete greatness with this horse.”