Arcangues, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at 133-1, has been euthanized in Japan because of complications from founder. He had been sent to Japan from the United States for stallion duty in 1995.
Arcangues not only became the first foreign-based runner to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but did so at record odds. The French-based horse captured the 1993 running at Santa Anita over subsequent champion older male Bertrando.
Foaled in 1988, Arcangues raced as a homebred for Daniel Wildenstein. Bred by Allez France Stables, he was foaled at Robin Scully’s Clovelly Farms near Lexington.
Although Arcangues’ Classic win proved shocking, it wasn’t as if the son of Sagace lacked credentials. Trained by Andre Fabre, Arcangues had won the Prix d’Ispahan (Fr-I) several months earlier and had been a group winner the two previous years.
On the down side, Arcangues was coming off an undistinguished effort in the Ciga Prix Dollar (Fr-II) five weeks earlier. He would be without the services of regular rider Thierry Jarnet and would be racing on dirt for the first time. In addition, Jerry Bailey, who was hired to ride Arcangues, could not understand the French groom’s instructions going into the Classic.
Bailey spoke for many when he told fellow rider Gary Stevens on the way to the post that “I don’t know a thing about the horse. I don’t have any idea how to pronounce his name.”
Once the gate opened, none of that mattered. Unhurried during the early going, Arcangues took over from frontrunner Bertrando in the final furlong to post a two-length victory. He returned $269.20 to win, $54.40 to place, and $18.20 to show. Bertrando, part of the favored 6-5 choice with Marquetry and Missionary Ridge, finished 13⁄4 lengths in front of Kissin Kris.
Arcangues, whose win payoff remains a record for all Breeders’ Cup races, was France’s high-weighted older miler in 1993 and was top-weighted on two European free handicaps that year. On the Daily Racing Form Free Handicap for older males, Arcangues was weighted at 123 pounds, two pounds below top weight Bertrando and a pound below Best Pal, who had run 10th in the Classic.
Arcangues was scheduled to enter stud in 1994 at Haras du Buff in France, but it was decided to keep him in training. He remained in Southern California and was placed with trainer Richard Mandella.
Arcangues returned to the races in May 1994 and won the John Henry Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park. He raced twice more at Hollywood and was retired with six wins from 19 starts and earnings of $1,981,423. Prior to the 1995 breeding season, Japanese horseman Kazuo Nakamura bought Arcangues from a French syndicate for stallion duty in Japan.
As a stallion, Arcangues sired 264 foals, of which 94 have started and 23 have won, including multiple group II winner Ar Alan.