By Steve Sherack
ARCADIA, CA — After missing the last three days of training with a foot issue, leading 3-year-old Arcangelo (Arrogate-Modeling, by Tapit) was withdrawn from Saturday's $6-million GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita and will be retired to begin his career at stud at Lane's End Farm in 2024.
A powerful winner of this year's GI Belmont S. and GI Travers S., the gray had a warm hind foot and had a shoe pulled on Saturday. He was listed as the 7-2 second choice on the morning line for the 1 1/4-mile centerpiece.
“We're just running out of time,” trainer Jena Antonucci said late Tuesday morning. “Horse first. Unfortunate to miss the opportunity, but to have a healthy horse is our priority, so we'll work through diagnostics the next couple of days and assess what is truly going on and make the right decisions for the horse.”
Arcangelo, an absolute steal for $35,000 as a KEESEP yearling by Jon Ebbert's Blue Rose Farm, retires with a record of 6-4-1-0 and earnings of $1,754,900. He also won this spring's GIII PeterPan S. One of five Grade I winners for the gone-too-soon Arrogate, Arcangelo is the most recent produce from the unraced Modeling, a $2.85-milllion purchase by breeder Don Alberto Corp. at the 2014 KEENOV sale. Arcangelo's third dam is the legendary broodmare Better Than Honour, who has produced Belmont winners Jazil and Rags to Riches.
“I made the owner's decision–I want to retire him,” Ebbert said. “You know how horse racing is. You don't want to keep pushing things.”
Antonucci became the first female trainer to saddle the winner of a Triple Crown race with Arcangelo's win in this spring's Belmont.
“We'll always be grateful to the horse,” Antonucci said. “He's a one of a kind, kind of guy, and a heart of a champion, obviously. Way overperforming to any expectations. We're eternally grateful for his honesty to us.”
Ebbert added, “We are absolutely so blessed. This ride has been amazing. It's been the most incredible year of my life. No worries, it just wasn't in the cards for us. That was it.”
Lane's End's Bill Farish added, “He was the exciting 3-year-old of the year. He certainly would have been a candidate for Horse of the Year had he won the Breeders' Cup Classic. To have him come to Lane's End is very exciting.”
“He's by Arrogate who has really emerged as a stallion that would have been very successful and we lost him too young.”
“We're thrilled to have him come to the farm. Obviously, we would have liked to have him come to us after running in the Breeders' Cup, but that's the way things go sometimes.”