White Abarrio Likely to Ship Out West To Prepare for G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic

August 6, 2023

White Abarrio much the best in the Whitney (G1) under Irad Ortiz Jr. (Susie Raisher)

NYRA Press Office

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.— C Two Racing Stable and Antonio Pagnano’s multiple graded stakes winner White Abarrio romped to a 6 1/4-length score in Saturday’s nine-furlong Grade 1, $1 million Whitney at Saratoga Race Course. In victory, he secured a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 4 at Santa Anita Park.

Trained by Rick Dutrow, Jr. and piloted by Irad Ortiz, Jr., the 4-year-old Race Day colt stalked the early speed of Giant Game before taking command though the final turn. He opened up by five lengths at the stretch call and was never threatened by Grade 1-winning runner-up Zandon and third-place defeated favorite Cody’s Wish, who had won nine of his last 10 outings, including four straight Grade 1 scores topped by a last-out victory in the Grade 1 Met Mile.

“I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet,” said Dutrow, Jr. who celebrated his 64th birthday Saturday. “I kept anticipating another horse to come challenge him. I felt extremely comfortable when he broke good and was laying off the speed horse – I felt any time that he wanted him, he could have him. I waited for someone to come to our horse and they never did. It was so exciting.”

Dutrow, Jr. said White Abarrio, who earned a career-best 110 Beyer, was in good order Sunday.

White Abarrio was previously trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr. and showed remarkable versatility to win at distances ranging from a 6 1/2-furlong maiden score in September 2021 at Gulfstream to a 1 1/4-length victory in the nine-furlong Grade 1 Florida Derby over the same course.

He made his last start for Joseph, Jr. with a sharp optional-claiming score traveling seven furlongs on March 4 at Gulfstream Park and made his debut for Dutrow, Jr. with a troubled third-place finish in the Grade 1 Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap on June 10 at Belmont Park.

Dutrow, Jr. said the horse’s maturity – both mental and physical – allow him to be effective at a variety of distances.

“He is extremely cool on the track,” Dutrow, Jr. said. “He absolutely loves it and he is getting stronger by the minute it seems. So, when a horse has that motor, those two things add up to a whole lot more.”

Dutrow, Jr. had previously noted that White Abarrio thrives on spacing between his races and that he would likely ship the horse out west to train up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“I didn’t have to think about it,” said Dutrow, Jr. of the decision. “All you have to do is read his PPs and you’ll see the more time he gets between races, the more he shows up. I’d be willing to wait four months or five months to run him. He just shows up when he’s fresh. I think we’ll send him out to California and get him ready out there for this race.”

Dutrow, Jr. noted that he would love to see White Abarrio repeat his recent schedule in 2024.

“I guess right now we can only say that we would love to run him in the Whitney next year because we know he can get that job done – which is two turns at Saratoga,” Dutrow, Jr. said. “And I would love for the opportunity to run him in the Met Mile next year because I feel that he loves that track.”

@AmWager @jonathanstettin @GulfstreamPark And starts off the day with a winner.

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