In 2017, two horses dominated the headlines. The first half of the year was all about Arrogate, as he won both the Pegasus and Dubai World Cups in dominating fashion. However, the worm turned in the second half, as Gun Runner put forth two incredible performances at Saratoga, then at Del Mar in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. These two horses rightfully dominated our Top 5 races of the year, but we saw many other great performances, too, which made picking just five difficult. Let’s relive our top 5 personal favorite races of 2017 as the year comes to a close. If you have your own, feel free to share them with us!
1. Dubai World Cup: Arrogate Dazzles in the Desert
We will never see a performance like this EVER again. I can say that with absolute confidence. Arrogate gave us everything he had that in Meydan. He left it all on the track that night to pick up the win and never returned to his normal self after this performance. Words do not do this race justice. Just watch the replay!
2. Breeders’ Cup Classic: Gun Runner Locks Down Horse of the Year
There’s nothing quite like the Breeders’ Cup Classic, as it usually has major implications on who wins Horse of the Year, and the 2017 version was no different. Gun Runner went wire-to-wire in dominating fashion to lock up the top Eclipse honor. The race was supposed to be a showdown between Gun Runner and Arrogate, but Arrogate failed to fire his best race. As for Gun Runner… he brought it in a big way!
3. Whitney Stakes: Gun Runner Sizzles at the Spa
Even though Gun Runner had won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster before heading to Saratoga, the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes really served as his coming-out party. Nothing can elevate your resume quite like a dominating performance at Saratoga, and Gun Runner did that twice over the summer, as he also won the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes. However, the Whitney will be forever remembered not only for his win, but more so because he got a horse shoe caught in his tail and carried it with him to victory. Truly a bizarre event!
4. Pegasus World Cup: Arrogate Dominates Inaugural Running
Time will tell how meaningful the Pegasus World Cup turns out to be, but we’ll never forget the inaugural running back in January. Hyped up as a rematch between Arrogate and California Chrome and a fantastic horse betting opportunity, it instead turned into a one-horse show; Arrogate dominated while California Chrome failed to fire. The first-ever Pegasus was a success thanks to the two superstars showing up for the race, and hopefully, it will set the tone for more Pegasus success in the future.
5. Pacific Classic: Collected Takes Down Arrogate
This race was being hyped as the “return” of Arrogate. After his disappointing effort in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap, it was widely believed that Arrogate would return to “normal” and win the Pacific Classic. That turned out to be false, as his stablemate Collected took the field wire-to-wire to pick up the win. Trainer Bob Baffert finished 1-2 in the race, yet he looked sick to his stomach when Collected picked up the win, not Arrogate. Collected also went on to finish second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.