Florida Derby Likely Next for White Abarrio

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White Abarrio | Ryan Thompson

C2 Racing Stable and La Milagrosa Stable's White Abarrio (Race Day), winner of Saturday's GIII Holy Bull S., will likely make his next start in the Apr. 2 GI Curlin Florida Derby, trained Saffie Joseph, Jr. confirmed Sunday morning.

“We talked it out over at dinner [Saturday] night, and I'd say its not set in stone, but he's going to straight to the Florida Derby,” Joseph said. “We don't have to decide now, but everyone was kind of on the same page to go straight to the Florida Derby. The spacing works well. He runs well fresh, and hopefully, it will set him up for the [GI] Kentucky Derby to run his best.”

A two-time winner at Gulfstream last fall, White Abarrio was making his first start since finishing third in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. last November.

“I'm very excited that he won as nicely as you could ask a horse to win a race, and it was the prep with the most depth so far. To be able to come out victorious, it was amazing,” Joseph said. “We had a little setback going into the race. We missed a couple works. You would think he should improve off that. He got a 97 Beyer [Speed Figure]. Just to think he could improve off of that–it's a good feeling.”

White Abarrio was purchased privately by brothers Mark and Clint Cornett following an eye-catching 6 3/4-length debut win going 6 1/2 furlongs at Gulfstream Sept. 24.

“Mark Cornett called and said he bought a horse. I said, 'Wow, you bought that horse? He was very impressive,'” Joseph recalled. “He said, 'I bought him and vetted him already, just go pick him up when everything is cleared.' He didn't tell me he was going to buy him.”

Joseph continued, “He's an athletic horse. He's very light on his feet. He's a beautiful-moving horse. It carries over to race day, which is the main test. He saddles very professionally–cool, calm. He can get a little keen in the morning. When he gallops, he can get a little keen in the morning, but when you work him in company, he'll relax. It's a good attribute to have–to have speed but the ability to rate.”

Tami Bobo's Simplification (Not This Time), who recovered from a poor start and a wide trip to finish second in the Holy Bull, will likely start next in the Mar. 5 GII Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth S. The bay colt was coming off a wire-to-wire victory in the Jan. 1 Mucho Macho Man S.

“In the front or behind, he's a good horse,” Sano said. “The horse that won is an excellent horse. If my horse breaks good, the race could be different. The good news after the race is that he is a good horse, on the front or from behind.”

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