White Abarrio made a real statement as he claimed the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic in commanding fashion.
Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr, the four-year-old arrived at Santa Anita on the back of an impressive victory in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga.
Big-race jockey Irad Ortiz Jr always had his mount hot on the tail of Bob Baffert’s Pacific Classic winner Arabian Knight and entering the stretch they looked to have the race between them.
Having beaten off Arabian Knight with the wire approaching, White Abarrio refused to be passed as Japanese contender Derma Sotogake and Proxy made their challenge in the closing stages.
It was a second winner of the Classic for his trainer, who only returned from a 10-year suspension for medication and administration violations in February earlier this year.
Dutrow said: “It’s incredible and the only way I can get this feeling is through this horse. I don’t know how I’m feeling right now, it’s just incredible stuff what I’m going through right now.
“I thought he was the winner the whole way round the track, he broke good and was sat with a couple of horses in front of him which he likes. He came up on the outside and when he did that I knew at that point we had nothing in our way, it was just a matter of if someone could come and catch us. I felt good.
“It wasn’t unlike when I won the Classic with Saint Liam. Winning this is an indescribable feeling. I don’t really know what I’m going through right now. It feels unbelievable, I love it.”
He added: “I don’t feel I’m back at the top, but I feel like the white horse is. I feel lucky being around him.
“I came back seven months ago. I hope this will help me pick up better horses and quality clients and I’m gonna be striving for it calling everyone up once I leave Disneyland.”