Bloodlines Presented By Caracaro: White Abarrio And A Forgotten Calumet Champion - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Bloodlines Presented By Caracaro: White Abarrio And A Forgotten Calumet Champion

White Abarrio

White Abarrio confounded a lot of expectations when he upset the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park as the fifth favorite among the nine contestants.

This is not the first time that the handsome gray son of the Tapit stallion Race Day has been under-appreciated. Sold twice, the colt went through the OBS Winter Mixed Sale in January 2020 from the Summerfield consignment and brought only $7,500, selling to Jose Ordonez.

Brought back to the sales in the OBS March sale of 2021 by Nice and Easy Thoroughbreds, White Abarrio sold for a fair bit more, bringing $40,000 from Carlos Perez, and the colt races for C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable, LLC.

At OBS March, the colt went a furlong in :10 2/5, which is plenty fast, and looked good doing it. He had a stride length of more than 25 feet and produced a very good BreezeFig of 74, but a lot of young prospects went faster. Despite what some will say should be the case, among approximately equivalent horses, the one that goes faster brings more money.

Underestimated once more, White Abarrio is now on the Derby Trail.

Having a hoof in classic consideration is not a unique circumstance for some of the colt's near relatives, as his grandsire on the male line is three-time leading sire Tapit (by Pulpit), and his grandsire through his dam is two-time leading sire Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday), sire of 2020 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic and last year's Derby second Mandaloun.

But this is the first time a son of Race Day has won a Kentucky Derby prep, and it's is one of the signal reasons that stallion is now serving mares in South Korea. Initially based at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, Race Day was sold to Korean interests in 2020. The handsome gray has sired seven stakes winners to date from four crops of racing age, and White Abarrio is the first graded winner among them.

Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, White Abarrio is out of the Into Mischief mare Catching Diamonds. Spendthrift bought the dam at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale for $425,000 from the consignment of breeder Columbiana Farm.

The mare somehow contrived not to win a race in a three-month career of three starts, but her first foal, White Abarrio, indicates that she may be the right sort. Catching Diamonds has a newly minted 2-year-old colt named Cage Match (Gormley), a yearling colt by Lord Nelson, and she is due to foal to that stallion.

The mare is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Cool Cowboy (Kodiak Kowboy) and to the winning Scat Daddy mare Downside Scenario, the dam of Grade 2 winner Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief), who was also third in the G1 Hopeful Stakes of 2020.

Although each generation of this family has produced stakes winners and stakes producers, the Holy Bull winner's sixth dam, Miss Newcastle, stands apart, even from this distinguished lineage.

She is essentially the only conduit for her sire, champion Coaltown (Bull Lea), in contemporary pedigrees.

A foal of 1945, Coaltown was a member of the same distinguished crop of Calumet Farm racers that included Triple Crown winner Citation and champion Bewitch, all three by the farm's great sire Bull Lea (Bull Dog).

Unraced at two, Coaltown came around brilliantly at three, winning the 1948 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland so impressively that some believed he was superior to Citation. Trainer Ben Jones, however, famously remarked that “Citation can beat Coaltown doing anything.”

So it proved in the 1948 Kentucky Derby. Sent off the heavy favorites at 2 to 5 in a threadbare field of six, Coaltown led comfortably over the slow, muddy track until jockey Eddie Arcaro released Citation, who bounded away from his stablemate to win by 3 ½ lengths.

Citation proceeded through his three-year-old season gloriously, winning the Triple Crown, defeating older horses while giving weight, and becoming one of the greatest champions of the breed. A winner in 19 of his 20 starts in 1948, Citation was Horse of the Year, as well as champion 3-year-old colt, and Coaltown was champion sprinter.

An overworked ankle prevented Citation from racing at four, but Coaltown deputized as the top older horse in the country, winning 12 of 15 starts, including the Widener Handicap at Hialeah, the Gulfstream Park, and the Washington Park, all at 10 furlongs. An exceptionally fast horse who stayed 10 furlongs well, Coaltown was stronger and more effective at four, and he was named champion older horse, was a Horse of the Year in one poll, with Preakness and Belmont winner Capot winning another poll after defeating Coaltown in the Pimlico Special.

After two years of steady racing in which he won 20 of 28 races, none unplaced, Coaltown made only four starts at five, seven starts at six, winning a only a pair of minor stakes at Bay Meadows.

If that wasn't a sufficient drop from the limelight, when retired to stud at Calumet in 1952, Coaltown showed mediocre fertility, which dropped the quality of mares sent to him. From four crops, he sired only 80 foals, with 25 winners and no stakes winners. None. Calumet then sold the horse in late 1955 to the great French breeder Marcel Boussac, for whom Coaltown did no better.

Coaltown's link to posterity came from his last Kentucky crop and showed no notable racing class, but she was tough as racehorses come. Racing from two through eight, the chestnut started 130 times, winning 15, with 14 seconds and 13 thirds, for earnings of $26,292.

After all that, Miss Newcastle retired to stud and produced a dozen foals. All ran, nine won, and two became multiple stakes winners: Faneuil Hall and Faneuil Boy. Faneuil Hall produced a pair of stakes winners, and her full sister Faneuil Girl (both by Bolinas Boy) produced four. Faneuil Girl is the link that leads us through the generations to White Abbario, now a winner in three of his four starts, with earnings of $240,850.

How times have changed.

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