White Abarrio Victorious in Breeders’ Cup Classic

November 4, 2023

White Abarrio takes the Classic under Irad Ortiz, Jr. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

ARCADIA, Calif.— C2 Racing Stable and Milagrosa Stable’s White Abarrio ($7.20) took over at the head of the stretch and went on to post a 1-length victory over Derma Sotogake (JPN) to win the 40th running of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita.

Trained by Rick Dutrow and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., White Abarrio completed the mile and a quarter in 2:02.57 over a fast main track. It is the fourth Breeders’ Cup victory for Dutrow and second in the Classic, having won in 2005 with Saint Liam. It is the second Classic win for Ortiz, who guided Vino Rosso to victory in the 2019 running and 19th overall in the World Championships.

Arabian Knight shot right to the front and led the field through fractions of :22.46, :45.73 and 1:10.28 while under token pressure from Saudi Crown with White Abarrio tracking in third.

On the far turn, Saudi Crown retreated and White Abarrio moved to the leader, quickly taking the advantage and opening up on his rivals.

Derma Sotogake rallied to get second by 1 ¼ lengths over Proxy, who finished a neck in front of Arabian Knight.

Completing the field in order were Ushba Tesoro (JPN), Bright Future, Senor Buscador, Dreamlike, Zandon, Saudi Crown, Clapton and Missed the Cut.

White Abarrio is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Race Day out of the Into Mischief mare Catching Diamonds.

The victory was worth $3,120,000 and increased White Abarrio’s earnings to $4,946,350 with a record of 15-7-1-3 that includes three Grade 1 victories.

Stakes Quotes:

Winning trainer Rick Dutrow, White Abarrio – “After a half in 45 and change, we were happy and we were just hoping that our horse was going to run his race at that time. And he did. It set up really good for him. You know what, he makes races set up for him because he has as much early speed as anyone and he’s got cruising speed to stay in striking position. So he kind of makes his own trip. At least the last two times he has. It seems he should have had a good trip in the Met Mile. He broke from the outside and I don’t know how he wound up in trouble that day.

“I was extremely confident he would (get the 10 furlongs) at the top of the stretch. I didn’t see anything coming and I saw that we were going to engage those two and I felt we could put them away and I didn’t see anything coming. So we thought the race was over at that point. I was just yelling and rooting for him. We watched in the paddock and it was great.”

“We’re extremely happy for our horse and everyone involved. I for sure wasn’t thinking about winning my second Classic and the numbers involved. We were just very, very happy. I can’t wait to sit down in front of a martini.” 

White Abarrio heads to the winner’s circle a newly-minted Breeders’ Cup champ (Jenny Doyle/Past The Wire)

(What were you thinking when they were coming down the stretch?) “I felt that he was a winner all of the way around the track. He broke good. He was setting off a couple of horses in front of him, which he liked.  He came up on the outside of them. When he did that I knew we had nothing in our way, it was only a matter of someone coming to catch us. I felt good.”

(How are you feeling?) “I don’t know how I’m feeling right now. It’s incredible stuff what I’m going through right now.”

(What were you thinking when you got the horse in May?) “That I had a nice horse that was coming to me. They sent two of them. I was very happy to have those two come to me, but we weren’t dreaming of anything like this at the time.”

(How does it feel to get a second chance?) “It feels unbelievable. Love it.”

Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., White Abarrio – “Everything came out perfect. 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 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 kept responding.”

(on Dutrow’s confidence on White Abarrio). “He brought that confidence to me. He has so much positive energy and I think it transferred to me because everything he said about how good the horse is was true. He is a good horseman. He really cares about his horses and I like that.”

Second-place jockey Christophe Lemaire, Derma Sotogake (JPN) – “He was fighting at the end. He proved today he was at that level. I’m very happy with him. If I had to come alongside the winner, maybe the winner would have reacted again. I don’t have any regrets today. He did his best today. The winner was in front of us and a little sharper today on the backstretch. That’s racing.”

Third-place trainer Michael Stidham, Proxy – “That’s Proxy. Perfect position down the backside and then just drops the bit and don’t want any part of it, then all of a sudden here he comes flying at the end. It’s the same thing, every time. He was the only one really closing, just like in the Santa Anita Handicap. He’s just a super horse. So nice from day one to final day. Just a pleasure to be around. Just a really nice horse and I was so lucky to get the opportunity to train him.” 

Third-place jockey Joel Rosario, Proxy – “We looked like we were in a good spot. But then he fell back a little bit. He does this does this all the time; he leaves himself too much to do. Then, here he comes again. I thought he was going to get second. He runs when he wants to.  He’s a good horse.  We’re happy with third.”

Fourth-place trainer Bob Baffert, Arabian Knight – “I knew when he had the 12 (post), it was going to be double tough with Saudi Crown in there. He is a young horse, he needs to learn how to relax a little bit. We were hoping, but we knew Saudi Crown was going to be the fly in the ointment and he was. White Abarrio ran a big race and I’m happy for Richard Dutrow. We just got tired. I am proud of the way Arabian Knight ran. The fractions were tough, but it was the only way to go for us. He showed up. As long as you show up, you’re happy. He tried hard but he came up empty. He showed he has a lot of fight in him and this track is demanding right now. He is a beautiful horse, still young. He’s learning and he’ll run as a 4-year-old.”

Fourth-place jockey Flavien Prat, Arabian Knight – “He broke on the lead by himself and I had him going good. Then that gray horse came up inside of us and he got a little bit on the bridle. After that he settled down nice. He ran his race.  He just got tired in the end.”

Well done Jon. TY. twitter.com/pastthewire/st…

Terri Martin (@GolfGirlTexas) View testimonials