White Abarrio Returns with Brilliant 3F Breeze
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.: ‘I Like Where We’re At’ Vasquez Guides Riot House to Feature Win
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC’s White Abarrio returned to the Gulfstream Park worktab Sunday morning with a brilliant three-furlong breeze in preparation for a scheduled start in the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1).
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“The way he worked today gives me a lot of confidence – the way he came back and the way he worked first work back – knowing we have three weeks to go,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “I think we’re in a good position. Three weeks is long time, but I like where we’re at.”
White Abarrio was timed in 34.55 seconds, the fastest of 41 workouts recorded at the distance, for his first breeze since capturing the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) April 2 at Gulfstream Park.
“Visually, it was as impressive as his time. Sometimes he can work quick and not look as impressive, but today, it was an easy work in a quick time,” Joseph said.
Junior Alvarado was aboard for the eye-catching breeze that included a 1:00 2/5 five-furlong gallop-out. Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard for the Florida Derby, has the Kentucky Derby mount.
“When you work those nice horses, they will fool you. They will go fast when you definitely don’t think you’re going that fast. He was just skipping over the ground. It was like he wasn’t even touching the ground,” Alvarado said. “That was really nothing for him. When he got back to the barn, he wasn’t blowing like he was tired or anything at all.”
The gray son of Race Day will complete his serious preparation for the Derby at Gulfstream before shipping to Churchill Downs.
“Next week, he’ll probably go five-eighths. His last work, I haven’t decided what he’ll do yet. We’ll play it by ear,” Joseph said.
White Abarrio was purchased by his current connections after debuting at Gulfstream Sept. 24 with a 6 ¾-length triumph. He went on to win an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream by four lengths five weeks later. White Abarrio concluded his 2021 campaign with a third-place finish in the Nov. 27 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs behind Smile Happy and Classic Causeway. He made an auspicious 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream Feb. 5, capturing the Holy Bull (G3) by 4 ½ lengths ahead of Simplification, who went on the win March 5 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) in White Abarrio’s absence. The Joseph trainee rallied from off the pace to defeat Charge It by 1 ¼ lengths in the Florida Derby.
Vasquez Guides Riot House to Feature Win
Miguel Vasquez inched closer to U.S. Win No. 1000 Sunday at Gulfstream Park, guiding favored Riot House to a dominating Race 6 feature win.
Riot House, a broke his maiden in his first start for trainer Danny Gargan in his 2022 debut in his previous start, pressed the pace before drawing clear to win the mile optional claiming allowance on turf by 2 ¼ lengths. Vasquez, a 27-year-old native of Panama who began riding in South Florida in 2014, visited the winner’s circle for his 988th victory in the U.S.
Riot House, a 3-year-old son of Violence ran a mile over the firm turf course in 1:36.65 under the ever-consistent under-the-radar jockey.