C2 Racing Stable and La Milagrosa Stable’s White Abarrio, sidelined earlier this month after spiking a temperature, returned to the work tab with a sharp half-mile breeze Friday at Gulfstream Park ahead of the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) Feb. 5.
With jockey Tyler Gaffalione up, White Abarrio went four furlongs in 47.05 seconds over a fast main track, ranking first of 40 horses. It was the Race Day colt’s first breeze since a five-furlong move in 1:01 Jan. 10.
“He missed some time because he had a little virus he was fighting,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “Thankfully, today he worked super and all is on track. All being well, we’ll probably go to the Holy Bull with him.”
Joseph has been pleased with the way White Abarrio has bounced back from his illness and wasn’t surprised with how fast he went Saturday.
“Timing-wise, we wanted a good, strong work. He’s a good horse, and he makes it look it pretty easy,” Joseph said. “We wanted a good, strong work and that’s why we worked him a little further out than closer to the race.”
White Abarrio debuted with a come-from-behind 6 ¾-length maiden special weight victory Sept. 24 at Gulfstream, returning with a front-running, four-length optional claiming allowance triumph Oct. 29. White Abarrio suffered his first loss when third to Smile Happy in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) Nov. 27.
Smile Happy; Ken McPeek-trained stablemate Tiz the Bomb, winner of last fall’s Bourbon (G2); 2021 Remsen (G2) winner Mo Donegal; Giant Game, third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1); and Simplification, winner of Gulfstream’s Mucho Macho Man Jan. 1, are all under consideration for the Holy Bull.
The 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull is the second of Gulfstream’s series of 3-year-old stakes leading to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 2, preceded by the one-mile Mucho Macho Man and followed by the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) March 5, also at 1 1/16 miles.
“It looks like it’s coming up a competitive race but we feel he’s as good as anybody in there,” Joseph said. “All being well, we’ll give him his chance.”
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