HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Fernando Abreu, the former longtime assistant to late Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, saddled the first official winner of his newly launched training career Thursday at Gulfstream Park.
Bold Summit, who was coming off a maiden-breaking victory for Jerkens less than a month before his passing on March 18, came right back to win Thursday’s fifth race for Abreu.
“It’s great, but it’s also bittersweet,” said Abreu, his voice cracking with emotion. “It’s great to get the first one out of the way. The big guy isn’t standing next to me, but he’s looking down.”
Bold Summer, a 17-1 longshot ridden by apprentice Tyler Gaffalione, set the pace and withstood a challenge at the top of the stretch to draw off to a 1 ½ length victory in the six-furlong optional claiming allowance for Florida breds.
“Right at the quarter-pole, when he came on again, I knew he was in business. He was fit for this today,” said the 36-year-old trainer, who had worked for “The Chief” since November 1996.
Abreu, who owns a home in Hallandale Beach, currently plans to remain stabled at Gulfstream year-round.