White Abarrio Good to Go in Florida Derby
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
HALLANDALE BEACH - C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable Stable LLC’s White Abarrio was confirmed for a start in Saturday’s $1 million Curlin Florida Derby presented by Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa this morning following a three-furlong breeze at Gulfstream Park.
The 3-year-old son of Race Day, who missed a scheduled workout Sunday after spiking a fever last week, blew out for Gulfstream’s signature Triple Crown prep in :34.96 seconds.
“He breezed phenomenal. He went super easy. The track was probably faster because of the [Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale breeze show] yesterday,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “Visually, he looks well. Energy-wise he looks well. I think we’ve been more worried than he is. As a trainer, you’re always concerned about something.”
White Abarrio, who had been training up to the Florida Derby impressively since capturing the Feb. 5 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, spiked a fever on the Tuesday before Sunday’s scheduled breeze.
“He had his major work two weeks ago. He checked out good on Monday. On Tuesday [last week], he was supposed to go to the track to jog and he had a temp of 101.5, so we had to back off him for two days,” Joseph said. “We had to change things around.”
White Abarrio, who is undefeated in three starts at Gulfstream, is expected to vie for favoritism for the 71st Florida Derby with Tami Bobo’s Simplification, who captured the March 5 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth after finishing a troubled second behind the Joseph trainee in the Holy Bull.
“With the temp, that concerns me, you never want to have bumps along the journey. With horses, you have to deal with that quite often. Things are never going to go exactly the way you want. Sometimes when everything goes the way you want, that means you’re becoming complacent, because you can always find things at fault,” Joseph said. “As far as blow-out, working close, that’s how I grew up in Barbados. We always blew out on Wednesday or Thursday before the race. I learned that style, but obviously I train different over here, but sometimes I would work three days before a race. I’m not concerned about that. The thing in the back of your head is he did spike a temperature last week. That’s always a concern.”
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