After an impressive victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and a 134 rating, Arrogate has been crowned the 2016 Longines World’s Best Racehorse. His name was added to the Equus award, a crystal vase, and his connections presented with an elegant Longines watch in a London ceremony hosted by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) and Longines on Tuesday.
Arrogate won the Classic by a half-length after chasing down California Chrome (rated 133), the world’s second-highest-rated horse.
Arrogate, who did not make his career debut until April, won five of six starts in 2016. He came into the Classic off a historic victory in the Travers Stakes, where he broke a 37-year-old track record and won by 13 ½ lengths in his first stakes attempt.
This is the second year in a row that an American runner has been named the Longines World’s Best Racehorse. In 2015, American Pharoah, like Arrogate a Bob Baffert trainee, was also rated at 134 and topped the rankings. The only United States-based horse to be rated higher in the last two decades is Cigar, who finished 1996 at 135.
The Classic was California Chrome’s only defeat on the year, as he won his seven other starts. His stakes victories included Grade/Group 1 wins in the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline, $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic Stakes and Awesome Again Stakes.
Finishing 2016 with the No. 3 ranking is Australian mare Winx, who was rated 130 in her victory in the William Hill W. S. Cox Plate in October. QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes winner Almanzor’s 129 rating was good for fourth overall, and Prix d'Ispahan victor A Shin Hikari and Longines Hong Kong Cup winner Maurice were tied at fifth with a rating of 127.
Other American-trained horses finishing 2016 in the top 15 include No. 7-rated Frosted, winner of the Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap and Longines Sword Dancer Stakes winner Flintshire and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands winner Nyquist among seven horses tied at No. 12.
The ceremony also recognized the Breeders’ Cup Classic as the 2016 Longines World’s Best Horse Race. Grade 1 races worldwide were compared by averaging the ratings of the first four finishers in each race. The Breeders’ Cup Classic featured Arrogate, California Chrome, Keen Ice and Hoppertunity in the top four positions and earned a 125.25 rating. Tied in the runner-up position with a 124.75 rating were the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, the TVG Pacific Classic Stakes and the Cox Plate.