BC40: Classic Thursday

November 2, 2023

White Abarrio in a work at Santa Anita. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Dutrow Confident in White Abarrio’s Big Run on Saturday 

Breeders’ Cup Notes

White Abarrio galloped 1 1/2 miles under exercise rider Emily Ellingwood Thursday. Trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr., said the colt will jog one lap of the track at 6:30 a.m. Friday.

“I’m extremely confident that he’s going to run big here on Saturday, extremely confident,” said Dutrow this morning.

(How has he developed since he came to you?): “We picked [White Abarrio] up in the middle of his 4-year-old season. He’s supposed to be developed by then. I just believe that we got him at the right time where he was getting good. I think it was just the little things that we did, which was (farrier) Ian McKinley putting the glue-ons (shoes) for the Whitney (G1). 

“Then afterwards, we glued him on behind. I think that has made a big difference with him. Also, [White Abarrio] has picked up a lot of weight, which he kind of needed. So those are really the only two things that he needed, and he got. Now everyone can see what [White Abarrio] can do when he’s really right, when he’s really a full racehorse. That’s what he is right now. But I do believe that we got [White Abarrio] at the right time. We just got so lucky. It’s the same thing that we do around all of our horses that we want to do everything that we possibly can to make it easier than to be as good as they can be.” – Richard Dutrow

“Right away when we took his front shoes off, we could see he was awkward. So, we called Ian. We shod him regular for the Met Mile. But [White Abarrio] just needed glue on shoes in order for him to get better and better. That’s what happened,” Dutrow added. 

Trainer Todd Pletcher galloped his Classic contender Dreamlike approximately 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Dominic Merrit Thursday morning and might give him another spin Friday morning.

Patience has been key for Dreamlike, a son of Gun Runner, who most recently was second in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) with blinkers off. Jockey Jose Ortiz will replace his brother Irad in the irons Saturday for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). After pre-entering in the Classic and the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), Pletcher and his owners, Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, opted for the Classic. 

Dreamlike breaking his maiden at Saratoga July 14. (Adam Coglianese)
Dreamlike breaking his maiden at Saratoga July 14. (Adam Coglianese)

“He’s a horse that we’ve always had high hopes for,” Pletcher said. “He’s a beautiful, expensive yearling, very well-bred, a very good-looking horse. A little bit temperamental when he first came in, very studdish. We tried to get him going at 2. Then ended up having to give him a little time off. He came back and he was training exceptionally well. Couldn’t quite break through with that win. We took a shot in the Wood Memorial (G2), which he ran very well in (finishing third by a head).”

After the April 8 Wood, Dreamlike did not race again until July 14 at Saratoga. He broke his maiden impressively but stumbled at the start of an Aug. 13 allowance race and was beaten 13 lengths.

“We regrouped in Pennsylvania Derby,” Pletcher said. “We made an equipment change, took the blinkers off after getting some feedback from Irad. He felt like maybe we’re asking the horse to stay a little closer early in the race than he wanted to. So, our strategy in the Pennsylvania Derby was just let him relax settle where he’s comfortable and make one run, which he did very well. Unfortunately for him, the horse to beat got an easy pace up front and didn’t have anyone going with him.” 

Pletcher said the expected pace challenge to Saudi Crown never materialized.

“I thought, despite that, that Dreamlike ran very well to close into those fractions against a good horse like that. He has trained well since. He and Bright Future have been pretty much workmates the last few times and it seems like they are pretty evenly matched up there.”

Considering the Pennsylvania Derby performance, Pletcher said the Classic looked to be a better spot for Dreamlike.

“It seems like on paper that the Classic, at a mile and a quarter, actually has more pace in it than the Dirt Mile does, which you wouldn’t expect. I just felt like if we’re going to allow him to run the way he wants, so he’ll make one run, that wasn’t going to be very effective in the mile if there’s not a real pace. It felt like the additional quarter and hopefully an honest pace makes a difference. He obviously needs to step up and run better than he ever has in his life.”

Missed the Cut winning the Toyota City Cup at Santa Anita. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Missed the Cut winning the Toyota City Cup at Santa Anita. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Assistant trainer and exercise rider Juan Leyva put Missed the Cut through a 1-1/2 mile gallop for trainer John Sadler with another round tomorrow. 

“When he first got here, he was a little quirky. It was a little hard to figure out what made him happy. Once we did, he has been training great with no hiccups,” said Leyva.

The word was out that a son of Lane’s End Farm stallion Quality Road named Missed the Cut was making some noise in Great Britain – and the word reached Bill Farish.

“He got off to a strong start and he’s a Quality Road and we don’t miss too many of those,” said Farish, a two-time Chairman of the Breeders’ Cup Board and whose family owns Lane’s End Farm.

Missed the Cut won three of his first four starts on the grass for owner Edward Babington and trainer George Boughey with two of the victories coming at a mile and a quarter.

“He jumped out at us, and it looked like he could run well on the dirt as well,” Farish said. “We got a call, and we got in touch with Ed Babington, who kept a share, then a lot of people got together … Vinnie (Viola of St. Elias Stables) was interested and the Hudsons (Edward and Lynne), so we went and did it.”

Off-the-board finishes in two Group 2 grass tests sandwiched a minor stakes victory over an all-weather surface at Lingfield in the first three starts for the new ownership group. After Missed the Cut finished fourth in the Neom Turf Cup (G2) in Saudi Arabia at the end of February, trainer John Sadler got a call.

“They told me after he ran in Saudi that he would be coming,” said Sadler, who just months before had savored the moment of Flightline’s tour de force in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland.

The success of Flightline was one reason Missed the Cut came to Sadler in April.

Flightline retires after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic, Courtney Snow, Past The Wire
Flightline wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic. (Courtney Snow/Past the Wire)

“Coming on the heels of Flightline, plus John does a great job and we thought he always does well with older horses, and it matched up well,” Farish said of sending Missed the Cut to California.

Missed the Cut made his debut for Sadler at Santa Anita on June 11, finishing second in a mile race on the dirt.

“He was a nice colt,” Sadler said of his initial impressions, “and he ran well in his debut.”

A seventh-place finish behind Senor Buscador in the San Diego Handicap (G2) going a mile and a sixteenth followed.

“In the San Diego, the setup was not good, and he was too close to the pace,” Sadler said. “Then 

we ran him on grass at Del Mar, but when we came back up here, he really liked the dirt track here at Santa Anita.”

Missed the Cut responded to the return on dirt by posting a 5 1/2-length win in the Tokyo City (G3) on Oct. 1 at Santa Anita going a mile and a half. Going forward, Sadler said the plan is to stay at a mile and a quarter on the dirt.

Which is the test that awaits Missed the Cut on Saturday in the Longines Breeders Cup Classic (G1) and a chance to give Sadler back-to-back wins in the $6 million race. Luis Saez has the mount Saturday.

“I am an optimist,” Sadler said. “I look forward to the 2-year-olds coming in and I am not wondering if this is the next Flightline. I am optimistic about our 2-year-olds and the ones coming in.”

Arabian Knight had a light gallop shortly after 8 a.m. Went once around the track, then exited through the tunnel and around the walking ring en route back to the barn. Friday he will have a light gallop.

“He’s done all the hard work. He’s ready to run. He’s doing really well,” said trainer Bob Baffert.

Bright Future galloped approximately 1 1/4 miles under exercise rider Hector Ramos for trainer Todd Pletcher. Will gallop approximately 1 1/4 miles Friday morning. 

Clapton jogged with Rikki Ramdial on board and stood in the gate. The Chad Summers trainee will walk the shedrow Friday.

 “At this point, you just want to go. It’s good for the handicappers when the draw is so far out, but it’s bad for us because once the entries are out, you just want to run. To pull the upset, everything needs to be perfect. If we didn’t run well in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), if we didn’t win the Lukas Classic (G2), if we didn’t ship over good, if we didn’t breeze good, if the bloodwork wasn’t perfect, we wouldn’t be here,” said Summers.

Derma Sotogake (JPN) warmed up with a jog and some footwork (circles and figure-eights) in the chute before an easy canter of the main track and then a walk through the paddock. He will repeat of today’s routine on Friday for trainer Hidetaka Otonashi. 

Having arrived Monday and having a very light day on Tuesday, Proxy repeated his Wednesday morning track work Thursday with a gallop around the Santa Anita main track. He then promptly returned to his stall in Barn 48 and remained relaxed and reportedly even took a nap just a couple hours after his morning efforts. He will school during the third race Thursday. He will likely jog and have an easy an easy canter/light gallop Friday.

“He’s great. He had a nice little gallop in the draw reins and looked perfect. He’s not like (Dubai World Cup winner) Mystic Guide, who was a lot more to handle on a lot of levels, he’s very laid back and a cool character. That makes things a little easier. He doesn’t do any more than he’s asked. Physically, he looks outstanding,” said Proxy’s trainer Mike Stidham 

He’s doing good, settled in here good. Schooled good yesterday,” Brad Cox said Thursday after Saudi Crown galloped 1 1/2 miles with Kelvin Perez on board. 

Senor Buscador had an easy day walking the shedrow and schooled in paddock with horses in Thursday’s third race. Next up is a gallop Friday and jog Saturday morning. 

“We planned the whole year to get to this point and we want to showcase the horse. It’s not about me. We just want to show how good this horse is. I try not to get too high. I will get pumped when the gates open,” said trainer Todd Fincher 

The Japanes contender Ushba Tesoro (JPN) had another easy canter around the Santa Anita dirt track for trainer Takagi Noboru and then schooled for about 10 laps of the parade ring. He will have an easy canter once again Friday. 

Chad Brown trainee Zandon galloped a circuit of the Santa Anita dirt. He is expected to have an easy morning, with an easy jog and gallop. 

@jonathanstettin eaaaaaaaaaazy winner.

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