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Songbird To Arrogate


Songbird | Fasig-Tipton photo

By Bill Finley

Champion Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) will be bred to Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song), owner Mandy Pope has told the TDN.

Pope purchased the nine-time Grade I winner for $9.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale, one of several high profile broodmares she has bought at auction over recent years.

“We went over this for a good three days with Wayne Sweezey and other advisors and looked at a lot of stallions, possible matings and a lot of options,” she said. “Arrogate is a horse with a great pedigree and was a brilliant race horse. On pedigree, it worked. When you look at him physically, it worked. This will be a first-time broodmare going to a first-time stallion, so that will be interesting.”

Pope has been among the more aggressive buyers over the last several years at the fall mixed sales. She made headlines in 2012 when she paid $10 million for Horse of the Year Havre de Grace (Saint Liam), also at the Fasig-Tipton Sale. Some of her other high profile purchases include 2011 GI Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty (Medaglia d’Oro) for $4.2 million at the 2012 Keeneland November Sale, Groupie Doll for $3.1 million at the 2013 Keeneland November Sale and Betterbetterbetter (Galileo {Ire}) for $5.2 million at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. The latter is a group stakes-placed mare who was in foal to War Front at the time.

“We have a stallion that we believe is one of the best dirt runners in modern times,” said Juddmonte Manager Garrett O’Rourke. “When you simplify how to breed you go back to the strategy of breeding the best to the best. Beyond that, if you look at a specific type of mare we were looking for Arrogate and what Mandy and Wayne said they felt was the ideal mate for Songbird would be we both came to the same answer. They’re hopefully a match made in heaven and hopefully they will produce a product we will all be talking about in three, four years time.

“Songbird won all of her races, really, in the first half of the race. She would just got to the front and nobody could catch her. Arrogate mainly killed most of his opposition off in the second half of a race. If there is any way to improve on either Songbird or Arrogate, when you match two you cover all the bases.”


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