08/29/2016 2:36PM

Flintshire, Arrogate give Juddmonte huge day at Saratoga

Ronnie Betor
Juddmonte won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer with homebred Flintshire (above) and the Grade 1 Travers with sale purchase Arrogate.

Turf or dirt, homebred or sales selection, older horse or younger, East Coast or West – the international Juddmonte Farms operation dominated Saratoga with any type of horse last Saturday.

First, the European type Flintshire, a product of Juddmonte’s outstanding homebred program, posted a repeat victory in the Sword Dancer Invitational on turf as the heavy favorite for trainer Chad Brown. Then, the unheralded Arrogate, specifically purchased for American-style racing under the care of Bob Baffert, made it a Grade 1 double by turning the Travers Stakes into a runaway.

Arrogate is a product of Juddmonte owner and Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah’s decision to reinvest in a California racing string that had gone by the wayside following the death of Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel in 2009. Frankel conditioned runners such as Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, champions Intercontinental and Banks Hill, and Grade 1 winners Honest Lady, Toussaud, Skimming, Tinners Way, Sightseek, Tates Creek, Heat Haze, and Cacique for Juddmonte.

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“Every time you looked up and you saw these colors, it was Bobby Frankel, one of the greatest trainers ever,” Baffert said.

Following Frankel’s death, fellow Hall of Famer Bill Mott, based on the East Coast, took over most of Juddmonte’s stock in the U.S. But in 2012, Abdullah decided to expand back into California, choosing Baffert, yet another Hall of Famer, as his divisional trainer. Although his outfit is renowned for its breeding program – it has won five Eclipse Awards in the category, along with two as outstanding owner – the decision was made to hit the yearling sales and procure stock that would fit Baffert’s program.

“Our breeding program didn’t quite produce the sort of horses that Bob trained, and [Abdullah] said, ‘Well, buy some horses then,’ ” Juddmonte president John Chandler said.

Arrogate cost $560,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale, where Baffert and agent Donato Lanni selected the Unbridled’s Song colt out of the stakes-placed Distorted Humor mare Bubbler from the consignment of breeder Clearsky Farm.

“Donato Lanni helps me at the sale, and we got there, and we went around there, and [Arrogate] was on the shortlist,” Baffert said. “[Juddmonte manager] Garrett O’Rourke, we work along with him. And plus, not only do we have a shortlist, but then we send it back to Prince Khalid, and he has the final [decision]. He made it known that he not only wants to try to get a good horse but a good stallion with good pedigree, so [Arrogate] fit. You know, we had to check all the boxes.”

Arrogate, who had won three of four starts prior to the Travers, established himself as a rising star with the victory in his stakes debut Saturday, smashing a talented field that included two classic winners by 13 1/2 lengths in a track-record time of 1:59.36 for 1 1/4 miles.

His victory was preceded less than an hour by the repeat Sword Dancer victory of established Juddmonte standard-bearer Flintshire, who scored by 1 3/4 lengths in 2:23.45, just off Awad’s course mark of 2:23.20 for 1 1/2 miles.

It was the fifth Grade 1 or Group 1 score for the globetrotting campaigner, who also owns top-level wins in Hong Kong and France, and pushed his earnings past $8.8 million. Flintshire has placed in eight other Grade 1 or Group 1 races in the U.S., France, England, Dubai, and Hong Kong, including a pair of runner-up finishes in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and a second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Most of those accomplishments came under the tutelage of trainer Andre Fabre, but in March, Flintshire was sent to Brown for a U.S.-based campaign. Brown, a former Frankel assistant, was given the opportunity to train for Juddmonte last fall, eight years after hanging out his own shingle.

“With a horse like Flintshire, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” Brown said. “By the time the horse had come over to us, he had made almost $8 million, so I’m not going to change anything with the horse. He’s settled in nicely, and fortunately, he’s taken to our program like the class horse he is. He came to us in outstanding condition from Andre Fabre. He had been managed by both Mr. Fabre and Juddmonte so well, that’s why we have a horse at age 6 that’s still at the top of his game.”

The British-born Flintshire is a product of Juddmonte’s homebred program, being by Dansili, who stands at its Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket, England, and out of the Group 2-winning Sadler’s Wells mare Dance Routine. Grade 1 winner Dansili is out of Juddmonte’s great mare Hasili, the dam of champions Banks Hill, Intercontinental, and Champs Elysees as well as additional Grade 1 winners Cacique and Heat Haze.

Juddmonte has not yet announced whether Flintshire will stand alongside his sire at Banstead Manor or take up stallion duties at the operation’s Lexington, Ky., farm.