Remembering Arch

Remembering Arch

Breeders’ Cup Photo ©

Arch… he was bred and raced by Claiborne Farm, and it was there that he stood his entire career at stud.

Arch… he had a typical Claiborne Farm name–short and striking. Cut from the same cloth as Swale and Blame.

Arch… he was the sire of Blame, best known as the conqueror of Zenyatta in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Arch… although many remember him best as the sire of Blame, he was so much more than that. His sons and daughters could flat-out run, on any surface, on any continent. Blame was a U.S. champion on dirt. Arravale was a Horse of the Year and champion turf female in Canada. Les Arcs was a champion older male in England, where he won two group I sprints. Overarching was a champion sprinter three times in South Africa, and Pomology was a champion older female in England.

Arch… his name lives on through his sons Archarcharch, winner of the Arkansas Derby and a successful young sire, and Grand Arch, a grade I-winning miler that ran third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last year.

Arch… the extent of his success as a sire knew few boundaries, for he was also the sire of Hymn Book, Pine Island, Prince Arch, Live Theway Yourare, Newsdad, All Star Heart, Lattice, So Long George, Sarach, Bauble Queen, Vexed, and Rothko. Art Trader was successful in Hong Kong; London Bridge came from Europe to win the Breeders’ Cup Marathon; Montgomery’s Arch won a group II in England, while Waterway Run and Archbishop won group III races; Black Spicy found success in Panama; and Arch Swing won the group III 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes in Ireland.

Arch… he accomplished all this while never siring more than 90 foals in a given year. More than half of those foals won races, and a respectable 6% became stakes winners.

Arch… he was a top-notch broodmare sire as well, with his daughters producing such notable runners as Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo. Both were named champions; Uncle Mo is now a leading sire in his own right.

Arch… as good a sire as he was, he was also a good racehorse, winning the grade I Super Derby and the grade III Fayette Stakes, the latter in the track-record time of 1:53.87 for 9.5 furlongs.

Arch… he was a truly great horse.

He will be missed, and never forgotten.

Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the blog Unlocking Winners.

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