White Abarrio, O’Connor Tune-Up for G1 Pegasus World Cup
Florida Derby Hero, Chilean Star Breeze Friday A.M. at Gulfstream
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC’s White Abarrio and Fernando Vine Ode and Michael and Jules Iavarone’s O’Connor, two-thirds of trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.’s scheduled starters in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Baccarat at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28, turned in final breezes Friday morning.
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The winner of the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) last season and the Chilean Group 1 winner are among the 12 top older horses in North America scheduled to compete in the 7th running of the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup, which will be featured on a stellar 13-race program with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf (G1) presented by Qatar Racing, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for older horses, and the $500,000 TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G3) presented by Pepsi, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for older fillies and mares.
White Abarrio geared up for the Pegasus during a half-mile workout in 47.90 seconds at Gulfstream Park under jockey Tyler Gaffalione. The 4-year-old son of Race Day produced the third fastest clocking of 45 recorded at the distance.
“He started off easy and finished his last quarter in 23 [seconds] flat,” Joseph said. “Tyler was very happy with him. We were also happy, visually.”
Friday’s breeze was the sixth in a series of workouts at Gulfstream, where White Abarrio is undefeated in four starts, including the Florida Derby and Holy Bull (G3) last season.
O’Connor breezed five furlongs in 1:00.61 at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, under Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano.
“O’Connor worked in company. He sat off a workmate and finished up nicely. He galloped out strong,” Joseph said. “Everything seems to be in good order. His last quarter was in 23-and-3 [seconds]. It was a good solid work.”
White Abarrio, who most recently finished a close third in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct, and O’Connor, who captured his U.S. debut before disappointing in the Dec. 31 Harlan’s Holiday (G3), are expected to be joined in the Pegasus starting gate by stablemate Daniel Alonso’s Skippylongstocking, last year’s third-place finisher in the Belmont Stakes (G1) who won the Harlan’s Holiday (G3). The Joseph-trained Skippylongstocking is scheduled to breeze at Palm Meadows,