Rafu Staff and Wire Service Reports
ARCADIA — Favored White Abarrio took over at the head of the stretch and won the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 4 by one length over Derma Sotogake, a 25-1 shot.
Arabian Knight shot right to the front and led the field through fractions of :22.46 seconds, :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.
“I thought he was a winner the whole way around the track,’’ trainer Rick Dutrow told NBC. “He broke good. He was setting a couple horses in front of what he liked, come up on the outside and when he did that, I knew we had nothing in our way. It was only a matter of someone coming to catch us.’’
According to a Santa Anita news release, Japan was scheduled to send nine horses to the Breeders’ Cup, including Ushba Tesoro, Songline, Meikei Yell, Win Marilyn, Shahryar, Jasper Krone, Ecoro Neo and Win Carnelian.
The victory was the fourth Breeders’ Cup victory for Dutrow and second in the Classic, having won in 2005 with Saint Liam.
Dutrow regained his trainer’s license Jan. 17 following a 10-year suspension after New York racing officials charged him with medication and administrative violations, including finding syringes with unauthorized medication in his barn.
Dutrow began training White Abarrio on May 23 after his previous trainer, Saffie Joseph Jr., was suspended on May 4 by Kentucky racing officials following the sudden deaths of two of his horses.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. won his 19th. Breeders’ Cup race and second Classic. He guided Vino Rossi to the victory in the 2019 running.
Derma Sotogake was in fourth most of the mile-and-a-quarter race, then rallied to finish 1-1/4 lengths over Proxy, who finished a neck in front of Arabian Knight.
The 8-5 favorite won in 2:02.87 and paid $7.20, $5.20 and $3.80. Derma Sotogake, who finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby in May in his only other start in the U.S., paid $18.80 and $13.00. Proxy paid $7.80 to show.
The race — the centerpiece of the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships that began Nov. 3 — lost three potential starters earlier that week.
Geaux Rocket Ride was euthanized Nov. 1 after failing to recover from surgery to repair a leg injury suffered while training at Santa Anita over the weekend.
The 3-year-old colt had three victories in his first four races this year, including the Haskell Stakes, and was beaten by a neck by Arabian Knight in the Pacific Classic.
Geaux Rocket Ride was the 14th horse to die from a racing or training injury at Santa Anita this year.