Monday, May 20, 2024

White Abarrio Seeking BC Classic-Saudi Cup Sweep

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‘Likely field’ of 14 announced for world’s richest horse race

White Abarrio is on target for a racing first – sweeping the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Saudi Cup.

The champion trained by Rick Dutrow, Jr., is among 14 ‘likely’ starters for the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) on Feb. 24 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse, the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia announced Friday.

Eclipse Award Winner White Abarrio: A New Chapter in Horse Racing Excellence

White Abarrio won the Eclipse Award for older dirt male champion following rousing victories in the Whitney (G1) and BC Classic (G1) under the care of Dutrow, who was coming off a 10-year suspension for multiple medication violations.

Last month, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud became a part owner of the 5-year-old gray son of Race Day.

A bunch of familiar foes from the BC Classic plan to show up, too, Derma Sotogake (second), Ushba Tesoro (fifth), Senor Buscador (fifth), and Saudi Crown (11th).

The Saudis also will be represented in the world’s richest horse race by a trio of Kentucky breds based in the country – Carmel Road, Defunded, and Power in Numbers. In addition, Saudi Crown is owned by Saudi Arabia’s FMQ Stables.

The Rising Sun in Racing: Japan’s Best Horses Take on the 1 1/8-Mile Battle

Five Japan-based horses are among the likely starters in the 1 1/8-mile race, with Champions Cup (G1) winner Lemon Pop, Crown Pride, and Meisho Hario joining Derma Sotogake and Ushba Tesoro.

Alsos, 2023 Preakness (G1) winner National Treasure, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, is set for the race coming off a victory in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) on Jan. 27.

Baffert’s Country Grammer ran second to Japan-based Panthalassa in the 2023 Saudi Cup. Four of the top five finishers in last year’s race were Japan-based.

Ushba Sotogake won the 2023 Dubai World Cup; Derma Sotogake returns to Saudi Arabia after finishing third in the 2023 Saudi Derby.

Meet the Contenders of the 2024 Saudi Cup

The likely field of 14 for the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Feb. 24, with horse, trainer, country (jockeys, odds, and post positions will be posted when available):

Carmel Road (USA), Abdullah Albadah, Saudi Arabia

Crown Pride (JPN), Koichi Shintani, Japan

Defunded (USA), Abdulaziz K Mishref, Saudi Arabia

Derma Sotogake (JPN), Hidetaka Otonashi, Japan

Hoist the Gold (USA), Dallas Stewart, USA

Lemon Pop (USA), Hiroyasu Tanaka, Japan

Luxembourg (IRE), Aidan O’Brien, Ireland

Meisho Hario (JPN), Inao Okada, Japan

National Treasure (USA), Bob Baffert, USA

Power in Numbers (USA), Ahmed Mohamoud, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown (USA), Brad Cox, USA

Senor Buscador (USA), Todd Fincher, USA

Ushba Tesoro (JPN), Noburu Takagi, Japan

White Abarrio (USA), Rick Dutrow, Jr., USA

Reserve list:

Isolate (USA), Doug Watson, UAE

Scotland Yard (USA), Mutaeb Almulawah, Saudi Arabia

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