Dr. Blute winning the Empire Classic at Belmont at the Big A. (Chelsea Durand)
White Abarrio targets G1 Pegasus World Cup
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – After a triumphant effort around two turns against fellow state-breds in the Empire Classic on October 30, Flanagan Racing’s Dr. Blute will cut back to a one-turn mile for next Saturday’s $100,000 Alex M. Robb for New York-breds 3-years-old and upward at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Dr. Blute, a 4-year-old Not This Time gelding, had never been past seven furlongs until joining the barn of Saffie Joseph, Jr. over the summer. Following a third on debut for Joseph, Jr. going six furlongs in July at Saratoga, he stretched out to one mile out of the Spa’s Wilson Chute, finishing a narrow second to dual stakes-placed Best Idea.
“You always got to like the cutback with a horse that has speed. He handled two turns last time and he’s obviously proven himself at a mile,” Joseph, Jr. said. “We’re very happy with how he’s doing. He had some good breezes so far and he’ll have one more work coming into the race. He seems to be arriving in good order, so hopefully he can keep his good form up.”
Dr. Blute was campaigned by John Kimmel through his first seven starts, which included a triumphant debut in February 2021 over a sloppy and sealed track at the Big A.
Bred in the Empire State by Hidden Lake Farm and Axle Ahlschwede, Dr. Blute is out of the Friends Lake mare Truss, who is a half-sister to graded stakes winner Khancord Kid – the dam of 2017 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Bar of Gold.
Joseph, Jr. said he also plans on running Wynwood Thoroughbreds and Make A Run Stable’s Forces Sweetheart, a six-length winner on debut at Gulfstream Park, in the $500,000 NYSSS Fifth Avenue for eligible New York-sired 2-year-old fillies on the same day.
Joseph, Jr. said White Abarrio, who finished third in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile presented by NYRA Bets on December 3, will target the Grade 1, $3 million Pegasus World Cup on January 28 at Gulfstream Park.
The Grade 1 Florida Derby-winning son of Race Day was beaten only a half-length after battling to the inside of Mind Control and Get Her Number in the stretch. The effort, which was his first going one turn since last October, registered a career-best 99 Beyer Speed Figure. He entered the Cigar Mile off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby.
“I was very, very thankful to see him run back to his top form. I thought the Pennsylvania Derby was a sneaky good race,” Joseph, Jr. said. “This race, he ran top numbers and was beaten by a good horse in Mind Control. At the top of the stretch, I thought we had a chance to kick on, but we hit a flat spot and horses like Mind Control are hard to get by. Overall, it was a good run and we were pleased with the effort.”