White Abarrio (Race Day) has been taken away from trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. after his suspension by Churchill Downs during a week when two of his horses died from unexplained causes at the Louisville track, according to a Tweet posted by White Abarrio's owners, C2 Racing Stable. He was scheduled to arrive at his new trainer Rick Dutrow's barn at Belmont on Tuesday.
Parents Pride (Maclean's Music) and Chasing Artie (We Miss Artie), both owned by Ken Ramsey and trained by Joseph, collapsed and died April 29 and May 2, respectively. Parents Pride was pulled up at the five-sixteenths pole during his race before collapsing, while Chasing Artie collapsed after returning to the unsaddling area after his race.
“Twenty days ago, the primary trainer for C2 Racing Stable, Saffie Joseph Jr., was indefinitely suspended by a racetrack operator and since this suspension, we have not been successful in obtaining the necessary answers from several racing jurisdictions or racetrack operators regarding future race nominations and race entries by Saffie Joseph, Jr.,” the statement posted on Twitter reads.
“Due to the lack of answers by jurisdictions and operators, they have made it very difficult to manage the remainder of White Abarrio's four-year-old campaign, thus requiring us to make a trainer change for the remainder of the year. This is definitely not our preference; however, we had two choices, remain with Saffie not knowing if our race nominations or entries would be accepted or make a trainer change so we can nominate White Abarrio to the Metropolitain Mile on June 10, 2023 and future races.
“The decision to make a trainer change is solely based on the ability to manage White Abarrio. We have the utmost confidence and trust in Saffie Joseph, Jr. and his team. We know from first-hand experience and being at the barn on almost a daily basis for the past year that he and his team deeply care for th e welfare and condition of the horses. In fact, we remain fully committed to Saffie and our twelve horses currently under his care will remain as we are very confident Saffie will be reinstated and fully vindicated in the near future.
“White Abarrio will arrive at Belmont Park this morning to his new trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr. to being preparing for the Metropolitan Mile on June 10, 2023.”
White Abarrio won a Gulfstream allowance/optional claiming race in his last start at Gulfstream on March 4, after running eighth in the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S., presented by Baccarat. The allowance win was his first since taking the GI Florida Derby in April, 2022.
C2 Racing Stable is owned by Clint and Mark Cornett.
Joseph was suspended indefinitely by Churchill on May 4, two days before the Kentucky Derby, and his entrant, Lord Miles (Curlin) was scratched. “Given the unexplained sudden deaths, we have reasonable concerns about the condition of his horses, and decided to suspend him indefinitely until details are analyzed and understood,” said Bill Mudd, President and Chief Operating Officer of CDI. “The safety of our equine and human athletes and integrity of our sport is our highest priority. We feel these measures are our duty and responsibility.”