Earning back-to-back Horse of the Year titles in 2007-08, Curlin won 11 of 16 starts to become the first North American-based horse to surpass $10 million in earnings.
Juddmonte Farm's Arrogate has blown by that total in two starts this season: victories in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park and the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) at Meydan. In those two starts the son of Unbridled's Son earned $13 million.
Combined with his earnings from last season, Arrogate is North America's all-time leading earner at $17,084,600.
Yes, looking at statistics through the first half of 2017 serves as reminder of how much the addition of the Pegasus, and Arrogate's sweep of that race and the Dubai World Cup have shifted things.
[image url="//cms-images.bloodhorse.com/i/bloodhorse-images/2017/02/a3828290674140f3a6e16d15ebc7d760.jpg?preset=medium" alt="Arrogate with Mike Smith up wins the 2017 Pegasus World Cup for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Juddmonte Farms, represented by John Chandler and Garrett O'Rourke" credit="Photos by Z"]
Mike Smith celebrates on Arrogate after Pegasus victory.
On the human side, as purses have been boosted in New York, trainers and jockeys based there have dominated the season-ending earnings standings in recent years. But Arrogate has helped rocket Southern California-based trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith past their rivals in the East.
When Dubai racing is included, Smith ranks first among North American-based riders in purse earnings this season at $19,498,956, more than $7 million ahead of second-place Jose Ortiz; and Baffert tops that category for trainers at $18,830,403, more than $4.4 million ahead of second-place Todd Pletcher.
While Arrogate is fueling those massive earnings, Baffert and Smith have teamed to win grade 1 races this year with Abel Tasman and Mor Spirit. Smith also rides champion Songbird; Baffert has multiple graded stakes winner Vale Dori (ARG).
With just 134 starts this season, Smith has more than 500 fewer than Ortiz. His purse earnings per start are six figures: $145,515. Baffert has had nearly 400 fewer starts than Pletcher this season. In Baffert's 135 starts, his horses are averaging a return of $139,484.
Pletcher holds the single-season earnings record for a North American-based trainer at $28,576,097, set in 2007. Javier Castellano holds that distinction among jockeys at $28,120,803 in 2015.
This season Smith has moved past Pat Day into second on the all-time earnings list for a North American jockey, and he's less than $1 million away from joining John Velazquez as the only riders to surpass the $300 million earnings mark.
The first half of the 2017 season helped Baffert vault into third-place past still-active trainers Steve Asmussen and Bill Mott on the career earnings list at $259,086,754. Baffert has had nearly 5,000 fewer wins than Asmussen and nearly 2,000 fewer than Mott.
Away from the track, Arrogate's big season helped the late Unbridled's Song take a commanding lead in the general sire list at $15,254,349, more than $8 million ahead of runner-up Candy Ride (ARG).