The 95th running of the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga was supposed to be all- about heavily favored Cody’s Wish winning his seventh straight race. Somebody forgot to tell White Abarrio.

Coming into this grade 1 test the focus had been deservedly on Cody’s Wish. A heart-warming story, the Bill Mott-trained Wish had looked unbeatable in his last six efforts. White Abarrio had been more than a little inconsistent. Back-to-back graded stakes scores in the 2022 Holy Bull and 2022 Florida Derby had this son of Race Day labeled as the real deal. But with only an allowance win in the eight starts since, the doubters were numerous. A determined effort as he chased Cody’s Wish home in the Met Mile on June 10 and finished third provided optimism.

Breaking from the gates at odds of 10 to 1, White Abarrio ran just off a front-running Giant Game. Churning with confidence under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., at the top of the stretch, the brilliant looking four-year-old knew it was show time. Lengthening his stride, this Rick Dutrow trainee was five lengths ahead quicker than a New York minute. Rolling with confidence toward the wire, the margin continued to grow. Crossing the finish line a solid six and a quarter lengths to the good, there was little doubt as to who was the best horse on this day.

The Whitney romp marked the sixth trip to the winner’s circle for White Abarrio from fourteen career starts. It also guaranteed him a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November and increased his career earnings to $1,826,350.