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White Abarrio, National Treasure begin Saudi Cup journey Tuesday

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John Voorhees / Eclipse Sportswire

Set to depart Santa Anita for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday are White Abarrio and National Treasure, each of whom are slated to run in the Grade 1, $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 24.

According to Santa Anita stable superintendent Jeff Metz, Forbidden Kingdom for trainer Richard Mandella also is expected to make the trip for a race on the Saudi Cup undercard. Mandella-trained Planetario is also possible to go after his runner-up finish in Saturday’s San Marcos (G3), Metz said.

The Saudi-bound contingent is scheduled to report to a holding barn at Santa Anita at 7:30 p.m. EST Monday and leave for Los Angeles International Airport at 7 a.m. EST the following day. The group first will fly to Miami via Mersant International. There they will be joined by a group of Eastern-based horses for the13-hour trip to Riyadh.

White Abarrio will be making his first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 4 for trainer Richard Dutrow.

National Treasure will be making a relatively quick turnaround in the Saudi Cup for Bob Baffert. Last year’s Preakness winner won the Pegasus World Cup (G1) on Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park. The Quality Road colt had his first work since the Pegasus on Saturday at Santa Anita, going five furlongs in 1:01.60.

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