Dutrow Back In the Limelight as White Abarrio Scores in the Classic

White Abarrio | Benoit

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ARCADIA, CA – Babe!

After spending 10 years in exile with a very well-documented suspension, trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr. is officially all the way back.

C2 Racing Stable and La Milagrosa Stable's White Abarrio (Race Day), a powerhouse last out winner of this summer's GI Whitney S. at Saratoga, ran to the money as the 5-2 favorite with a one-length victory for Dutrow in Saturday's $6-million GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita. The 64-year-old's three prior wins at the Championships were headed by future Horse of the Year Saint Liam in the 2005 Classic at Belmont Park. The New York-based Dutrow has been back training for seven months now.

“I don't feel that I am back at the top, but I feel that the white horse is,” said Dutrow, who also trained Big Brown to wins in the first two legs of the 2008 Triple Crown. “As soon as I get stables like Todd (Pletcher) and Chad (Brown), then I'll feel like I'm back on the top. I'm going to be calling everybody tomorrow when I get done with Disneyland and say, 'Hey, I am ready for some horses here.'”

Dutrow continued, “Right now, I just feel like I'm lucky to be around him. I feel he's on the top, and I love being around good horses like that. It just makes you feel like a good horseman, and that's always what I wanted to be.”

White Abarrio, drawn kindly in post two, secured a dream spot on the inside in third as 'TDN Rising Star' Arabian Knight (Uncle Mo)–off as the 3-1 second choice off a game win against older horses in this summer's GI Pacific Classic S.–and GI Pennsylvania Derby hero Saudi Crown (Always Dreaming) absolutely tore through fractions of :22.46 and :45.73 in the 1 1/4-mile centerpiece.

Richard Dutrow, Jr. and jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. celebrate after winning the GI Breeders' Cup Classic |
Benoit Photo

With Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard, White Abarrio began to make his move on the far turn and attacked the top two while three wide nearing the quarter pole. Saudi Crown was the first to blink and White Abarrio had dead aim on the pacesetter at the top of the stretch. He switched his leads right on cue and blasted off for home for a no-doubt-about-it victory while never seriously threatened by Japanese invader and G2 UAE Derby winner Derma Sotogake (Jpn) (Mind Your Biscuits), who was making his first start since finishing sixth in the GI Kentucky Derby. Proxy (Tapit), a narrow second in the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup S., came rattling home to tag Arabian Knight by a neck for third.

“Everything came out perfect,” said the hot-handed Ortiz, Jr., who won his fifth Bill Shoemaker Award after guiding home three winners on Breeders' Cup Saturday. “We handicapped that race perfectly as we thought Saudi Crown and Arabian Knight would be on the lead and we should be third. I saved all the ground on the first turn and then I was able to get in the clear on the backside. After that, it's all about the horse. To be honest, I just let him do his thing and I don't get in his way. When I turned for him, I started to ride him and he kept responding.”

Transferred to Dutrow while former trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. was under fire this spring following a pair of high-profile horse deaths at Churchill Downs during Derby week, the 2022 GI Curlin Florida Derby winner and GI Cigar Mile H. third-place finisher produced a better-than-it-looked third-place finish after stumbling at the start in his first start for this barn in the GI Hill 'N' Dale Metropolitan H. at Belmont June 10. He had made only one other start since, earning a career-high 110 Beyer Speed Figure with Zandon (Upstart) and two-time GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Cody's Wish (Curlin) far back in second and third in the Whitney Aug. 5.

“Churchill Downs, we had an issue where they scratched our horse,” winning co-owner Mark Cornett said of the decision to change trainers. “NYRA decided they weren't going to accept the entries, nominations, and I wanted to run in the Met Mile.

He continued, “So I had to make a trainer switch. I've known Rick a long time. I know exactly what he's capable of. This horse was tailor made for him.”

Pedigree Notes:

White Abarrio, a $7,500 OBS Winter yearling turned $40,000 OBS March 2-year-old, is the lone graded winner for Race Day, a son of Tapit. Race Day previously stood at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, but was exported to Korea prior to the 2021 season. White Abarrio is one of four graded winners for the mighty Into Mischief as a broodmare sire.

The unplaced winner's dam Catching Diamonds, a $425,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase for Spendthrift, produced White Abarrio as her first foal. A half to MGSW-UAE and MSW-U.S. Cool Cowboy (Kodiak Kowboy) and to the dam of GSW Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief), the mare has an unraced 2-year-old colt named Diamond Lord (Lord Nelson), who fetched $155,000 from Lincoln Racing at last year's Keeneland September sale, and a yearling colt, also by Lord Nelson, who sold as a weanling at Keeneland November for $100,000 to Larry Hirsch. Her 2023 foal was a Yaupon filly born Apr. 15 and she was bred back to Constitution.

 

LONGINES BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC-GI, $5,520,000, Santa Anita, 11-4, 3yo/up, 1 1/4m, 2:02.87, ft.
1–WHITE ABARRIO, 126, c, 4, by Race Day
        1st Dam: Catching Diamonds, by Into Mischief
        2nd Dam: Grand Breeze, by Grand Slam
        3rd Dam: Breeze Lass, by It's Freezing
($7,500 Ylg '20 OBSWIN; $40,000 2yo '21 OBSMAR). O-C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable, LLC; B-Spendthrift
Farm LLC (KY); T-Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.; J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $3,120,000. Lifetime Record: 15-7-1-3, $4,946,350. Click for
the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Derma Sotogake (Jpn), 122, c, 3, Mind Your Biscuits–Amour Poesie (Jpn), by Neo Universe (Jpn). 1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. (¥18,000,000 Ylg '21 JRHAYF). O-Hiroyuki Asanuma; B-Shadai Farm (Jpn); T-Hidetaka Otonashi. $1,020,000.
3–Proxy, 126, h, 5, Tapit–Panty Raid, by Include. O/B-Godolphin (KY); T-Michael Stidham. $540,000.
Margins: 1, 1 1/4, NK. Odds: 2.60, 26.20, 17.40.
Also Ran: Arabian Knight, Ushba Tesoro (Jpn), Bright Future, Senor Buscador, Dreamlike, Zandon, Saudi Crown, Clapton, Missed the Cut. Scratched: Arcangelo. Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by Fanduel TV.

 

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