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04 February 2010

Arromanches Remembered

Yesterday's first race was named in honor of Aqueduct hero Arromanches "the horse that refuses to lose". Arromanches hasn't been seen near Aqueduct in 8 years but he is not forgotten. His regular jockey CC Lopez still has affection for Arromanches “I rode him for nearly everybody that had him – and I can’t tell you how many people had him – and he made money for all of them. I was very fortunate – he was a great horse to ride and I really loved him.”

Horses like Arromanches are the heart and soul of the game. Arromanches compiled a record of 31 wins, 15 places and 9 shows over 73 starts with earnings of $807,924. His 15 minutes of fame grew out of a 10 race win streak during 2001-2002. Like fine wine Arromanches improved as he got older; his win streak spanned his 8 and 9 year old seasons. If every thoroughbred was as honest and as durable as Arromanches the game would be much more interesting. When Arromanches went to stud he was relegated to the backwater of West Virginia. Just when slots fueled breeding activity in West Virgina picked up Arromanches was shifted to Indiana. While we can only assume that he is being personally cared for he has been all but ignored by the breeding market. Why would horse breeders not want the qualities of soundness, gameness and honesty bred into their foals? He only had 17 runners in 2009 with 12 winners-an excellent percentage- while standing for a rock-bottom fee of $750. Arromanches deserves better and the thoroughbred deserves better. Horses like this should appear more frequently in the pedigree book.

Racing has developed many of the same afflictions plaguing modern culture. There is entirely too much focus on quick thrills, fickle fashion that lacks substance while ignoring the virtues of "Arromanches" hard earned excellence. It was this instant gratification culture that doomed Arromanches to a lonely career at stud. Fashion dictates that only precocious two year old stakes winners or a flash in the pan derby trail horses are successful at stud. Horses like Arromanches that have soundness and race year after year are cast aside and removed from the gene pool. In their stead horses with known soundness issues like Unbridled's Song -think Eight Belle's, Old Fashioned, Dunkirk, Winslow Homer) propagate.

Arromanches was a true champion horse; a horse that had gameness, soundness and a heart as big as the racetrack. His mettle was not proven in one huge performance but over a body of work that spanned seven years of racing. It was nice of the NYRA to remember one of our favorites.


Teresa said...

Great post--I knew nothing about this guy. And Lopez won the race, too, didn't he? On a horse called Good Karma or something like that? You can't write a better script than that.

SaratogaSpa said...

I was wondering about the "gray" angle of the 1st race yesterday at the Big A. Now I know, thanks for the information.

frank mitchell said...


I also remember Arromanches, and this is a great tribute to him. But I didn't realize he had almost moved to the neighborhood (I live near Lex).



PS If you ever take a notion to get a mare and breed to Arromanches, let me know.

Van Cushny said...

I bred my mare to Arromanches 3 years ago. The resulting foal is 2x3 to the full brother & sister Relaunch & the blue hen Moon Glitter and is also inbred 4x5 to blue hen Key Bridge (see link below). The resulting '08 foal is a NY-bred filly named La Jarochita; she is in training in Florida and should show up in an OBS auction this year.


G. C. said...

Finally a New York bred sired by Arromanches. If she makes it to the track I believe that she will be the first one. I hope she sets the track on fire Van Cushy.

If I decide to start a breeding operation Arromanches would be on the top of my list of possible sires for the mares. I am am going to keep you in mind Frank.

Deanna Lehman said...

My father and his partners own Arromanches. He is still every bit of amazing now as you remember him years ago. I just found this article and it is wonderful to see that people around the country remember him. Arromanches looks like a million dollars and has thrown some fantastic babies. I also agree that he is one of the most underrated Active Stallions. There will be several babies of his on the ground next year. If there is any interest in breeding to Arromanches next year or purchasing a baby of his you can contact me at lehman_lane@yahoo.com and I can forward the partners your information.

Thank you and Have a Great Day!

Anonymous said...

Caixa Eletronica is picking up right where Arromanches left off. I hope Caixa has better opportunities at stud than his sire did. As far as I can tell, Caixa is a "complete" horse.