The vastly improved light grey colt WHITE ABARRIO, son of a $5,000 stallion who now stands in Korea, rolled to a big win in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at the 40th World Championships at Santa Anita on November 4.

Two days of Breeders’ Cup races yielded total all-sources, global common-pool handle of $176,281,989, the lowest number since 2020 and down from $189 million a year ago.

Owned by C2 Racing and La Milagrosa, WHITE ABARRIO, a son of Race Day – Catching Diamonds by Into Mischief, needed only run back to his 6 1/2 length win in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes on Aug. 5 to conquer a modest field for the Classic travelling 1 1/4 miles on the dirt.

After tracking a strong pace set by Saudi Crown and Arabian Knight, White Barrio glided up three wide around the last turn under Irad Ortiz and galloped clear as the 5-to-2 favourite. The story of the race was the training success by Richard Dutrow, who returned to training this year after a 10-year suspension. Dutrow took over the training of the four-year-old colt this spring when his first trainer, Saffie Joseph, was suspended by Churchill Downs after two Joseph trainees collapsed and died.

C2 is Clint and Mark Cornett. La Milagrosa is Antonio Pagnano.

White Abarrio was third to Cody’s Wish in the Met Mile (G1) on June 10 before his Whitney win.

The Classic was the colt’s 7th win in 15 races. Incredibly, White Abarrio was a $7,500 ‘short’ yearling purchase by Jose Ordonez in 2020 at the Ocala Winter Mixed Sale. He was a $40,000 two-year-old in training purchase by Carlos Perez from Eddie Herrara’s Nice and Easy Thoroughbreds.

Bred by Spendthrift Farm, White Abarrio is the first foal of the unplaced mare Catching Diamonds, a half-sister to stakes winner Cool Cowboy.

Japanese colt Derma Sotogake was second in his first race since he was sixth in the Kentucky Derby and Godolphin’s Proxy was third.


White Abarrio (3), ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., wins the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic on Breeders’ Cup Championship Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on November 4, 2023. (Carolyn Simancik/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup)


From a Canadian standpoint, reigning Horse of the Year MOIRA did her country proud with a thrilling run to be third in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Ridden by Flavian Prat for trainer Kevin Attard and the ownership group of Madaket Stable, X-Men racing and SF Bloodstock. Moira had a perfect trip and was headed to the lead into the stretch before the Group 1 European gals INSPIRAL (GB) and Warm Heart surged. Moira was just a length back of the win and picked up $220,000 for the third-place finish.

Inspiral, ridden by Frankie Dettori for John Gosden, will stay in training for 2024. She is a daughter of Frankel and she has nine wins in 13 races.

Moira (Ghostzapper – Devine Aida by Unbridled’s Song) is entered in the November Sale at Fasig-Tipton on Nov. 7. She is hip no. 156.

Behind Moira in the Filly & Mare Turf was E.P. Taylor Stakes winner FEV ROVER (Ire) who faded to 11th of 12.

Woodbine racetrack, its horses and races were noticeable throughout the Breeders’ Cup. Woodbine Mile (G1) winner MASTER OF THE SEAS (GB) came from the clouds to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) for Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby. While the participation of Master of the Seas at Woodbine for the Mile in September was kept quiet until he landed in Ontario (and the field was short), his Toronto win leading to Breeders’ Cup score once again stamps the Woodbine Mile as a premier stepping-stone race.

Local horses in the Mile LUCKY SCORE and SHIRL’S SPEIGHT finished seventh and eighth, respectively.

Woodbine’s Nearctic Stakes (G2), a turf sprint, produced Big Invasion, who just missed winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Saturday. Christophe Clement trains the colt who had a wild finish to win the Nearctic on Oct. 8. He came up just short of NOBALS (who won Woodbine’s Woodstock Stakes in 2022) who won for Patricia’s Hope and trainer Larry Rivelli.

NOBALS, originally a $3,500 yearling purchase at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton October sale by a buyer listed as ‘Eat n Cheese’, raced once for Leland Hayes and won his debut at Presque Ice. Vinco Foglia’s Patricia’s Hope purchased the gelding after that debut.

Nobals is by Noble Mission (GB) who stands in Japan. The dam is Pearly Blue by Empire Maker who has also produced three-time stakes winner My First Pearl.

More Breeders’ Cup races:

AUGUSTE RODIN (Deep Impact (Jpn) – Rhododendron (Ire) by Galileo (Ire)), came storming up the rail after a wild journey to win the Turf under Ryan Moore. The dark bay colt won the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes this year for Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier and trainer Aidan O’Brien.  The Turf was the 7th win in 10 races for August Rodin.


Auguste Rodin (5), Ryan Moore win the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf on Breeders’ Cup Championship Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California on November 4, 2023. (Bailey Ortiz/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup)


CODY’S WISH was one of THREE Cup winners repeating their 2022 exploits. Cody, making his final career start in the Dirt Mile (G1), needed the length of the stretch to get past National Treasure, who set the pace. A five-year-old by Curlin – Dance Card by Tapit , Cody’s Wish was one of three Breeders’ Cup winners saddled by Bill Mott. The horse retires with 11 wins from 16 races and  $3.1 million in earnings for Godolphin.

Mott also had ELITE POWER, a flashy chestnut owned by Juddmonte, ready to couple up in the Sprint. Ridden by Irad Ortiz (a 3-time winner on the day), Elite Power ran down the speed and fended off Gunite to win the Sprint for his ninth win in 13 races. A son of Curlin, Elite Power is now retired to stud.

GOODNIGHT OLIVE repeated in the Filly & Mare Sprint at 7 furlongs for Team Hanley and First Row Partners. Trained by Chad Brown, the dark bay by Ghostzapper (who had a huge weekend) had a beautiful trip behind a pace duel and took off to a big win, her ninth in 12 races. She is entered to sell at the Fasig-Tipton sale on Nov. 7.

IDIOMATIC was one of the best horses of the year with five straight wins to end the year including the Distaff. This very large Curlin mare, owned and bred by Juddmonte, won three races at Turfway Park on Tapeta over the winter and then blossomed into a major star, taking the Delaware Handicap, Personal Ensign and Spinster for trainer Brad Cox. She has nine wins in 12 races. Florent Geroux was the winning rider.


Master of the Seas (far left) nabs another Godolphin star, Mawj, to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) – (Breeders’ Cup photos)