White Abarrio ‘Wows’ in Gulfstream Between-Races Work
G1 Florida Derby Winner Breezes 4F for Kentucky Derby
Ismael Cruz Rides First Winner in U.S. Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $100,000
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC’s White Abarrio wowed trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. while breezing a half-mile between races during an impromptu workout on Saturday afternoon’s program at Gulfstream Park.
The Curlin Florida Derby (G1) winner covered the four-furlong distance in 48.23 seconds over a fast track between Races 10 and 11 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.38 and seven furlongs in 1:25.15.
“Wow. That’s all I can say is ‘wow,’” Joseph said. “He worked super. He worked super.”
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White Abarrio had been scheduled to breeze in the morning before heavy rains and a sloppy track prompted trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. to postpone the son of Race Day’s final workout for next Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1).
Joseph initially decided to postpone the breeze until Sunday morning but called an audible later in the day after the rains subsided and the racetrack dried out under mostly sunny skies during the afternoon.
Exercise rider Vincente Gudiel was aboard for White Abarrio’s third workout at Gulfstream since his 1 ¼-length victory over Charge It in the April 2 Florida Derby. White Abarrio broke off at the 3/8ths pole and posted fractions of 12.66 and 24.24 seconds on his way to his final clocking.
“I’m so appreciate of Gulfstream Park for helping us out and all the track crew for a great job. I can’t thank them enough,” said Joseph, whose Derby candidate is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs Sunday.
Joseph faced more serious challenges while preparing White Abarrio for his victories in the Feb. 5 Holy Bull (G3), before which he missed two workouts due to illness, and the Florida Derby, for which his final breeze was delayed three days due to a slight fever.
White Abarrio ranks third on the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 122 qualifying points.
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.
Ismael Cruz Rides First U.S. Winner at Gulfstream
Ismael Cruz, a 10-pound apprentice jockey, notched his first success in the U.S. Saturday while guiding Hey Hombre to a front-running victory in Race 3 at Gulfstream Park.
The 19-year-old rode one winner in Puerto Rico after graduating from the state-run jockey school, Escuela Vocational Hipica, before venturing to South Florida. Ramon Minguet-trained Hey Hombre, the 7-5 favorite who scored by by a length in the 5 ½-furlong maiden claiming race, was Cruz’s fourth mount at Gulfstream.
“It was quite an experience that I’ve been longing for,” he said.
Cruz doesn’t come from a racing family, but he has always been interested in becoming a jockey.
“As a kid, I always wanted to be a jockey, but it didn’t add up. So, I started to learn other things until I learned about the school,” he said. “Once I rode my first horse, it clicked. It’s something that fills me up.”
Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $100,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000 Sunday after the popular multi-race wager went unsolved Saturday for the second racing day after a lucky bettor hit for a $182,098 payoff Thursday at Gulfstream Park.
The Rainbow 6 jackpot is paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
Sunday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9.