White Abarrio ‘Strong’ in Pegasus World Cup Tune-Up
Florida Derby Champ Breezes 5F at Gulfstream Park
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Florida Derby (G1) winner White Abarrio breezed five furlongs over Gulfstream Park’s main track Friday morning in preparation for a scheduled start in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Baccarat Jan. 28 at the historic Hallandale Beach racetrack.
C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC’s 4-year-old son of Race Day, one of 12 horses on the Pegasus World Cup’s list of invitees released Wednesday, was timed in 59.16 seconds, the fastest of eight workouts recorded at the distance.
“He went very well – his last quarter was 22-and-4 [seconds]. He had a very strong finish – just what we were looking for,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “He’s in good order right now.”
The morning exercise was White Abarrio’s third breeze at Gulfstream since finishing third in the Dec. 3 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct. The flashy gray colt was withheld from last Saturday’s Harlan’s Holiday (G3), a Pegasus World Cup prep won by the Joseph-trained Skippylongstocking. Joseph-trained O’Connor finished fourth.
“[White Abarrio’s] best races come when he is fresh. He runs well fresh. Probably one of the reasons is that he puts so much into his works, you can get him fit with works,” Joseph said. “He’s not a horse that’s heavy that needs a race.”
White Abarrio, an athletic colt who won the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream two months before winning the Florida Derby, has impressed his trainer with his physical presence.
“He’s never been this strong. It’s probably the best he’s been in his life,” Joseph said. “That was the way he was three weeks before the Cigar Mile.”
White Abarrio was joined by stablemates Skippylongstocking and O’Connor on the invitation list for the Pegasus.
“We’re thankful to our owners for the opportunities. We’re thankful to be in a position like this,” Joseph said.