White Abarrio, Simplification Preparing To Return To Gulfstream Work Tab - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

White Abarrio, Simplification Preparing To Return To Gulfstream Work Tab

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. (glasses) greets White Abario following his Florida Derby win

C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC's White Abarrio is scheduled to return to the Gulfstream Park worktab Sunday morning for the first time since capturing the April 2 Curlin Florida Derby (G1).

The 3-year-old son of Race Day, who qualified for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1) while defeating Charge It by 1 ¼ lengths in Gulfstream's tradition-rich Triple Crown prep, is slated to breeze three times at Gulfstream before shipping to Churchill Downs.

“He's going to have three works. His first work Sunday will be three furlongs. Then, he'll probably have a five-eighths, and then we'll decide on the last one closer to the race,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said Thursday.

Tami Bobo's Simplification, who captured the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) before finishing third in the Florida Derby, is slated to work five furlongs Friday morning in the first of three scheduled works at Gulfstream in preparation for the Kentucky Derby.

“He'll work five furlongs [Friday],” trainer Antonio Sano said Thursday. “He will have three works here, Friday April 15, Friday April 22 and Friday April 29, then he'll leave for Churchill.”

White Abarrio is undefeated in four starts at Gulfstream, sustaining his only loss while finishing a gritty third behind Smile Happy and Classic Causeway in the Nov. 11 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). The Joseph trainee has won the Holy Bull (G3) and Florida Derby in his only two starts this year despite less-than-ideal preparation. His Florida Derby status was questionable less than two weeks ago after coming down with a fever that forced the gray colt to miss his final scheduled workout a week prior to race. Fully recovered, White Abarrio was confirmed for the Florida Derby following an impromptu three-furlong breeze on the Tuesday of the race.

“He's done well since the race. Everything has gone well so far. We have a few more weeks to go, so hopefully things keep going that way,” said Joseph, whose trainee missed a pair of works due to a brief illness before the Holy Bull.

Joseph is holding out hope that Daniel Alonso's Skippylongstocking, who finished third in last Saturday's Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct, will slip into the Derby field.

“It's going to be close,” Joseph said. “He'll go long, so that's why we wouldn't mind waiting for the Belmont.”

Simplification pressed the early pace between horses before finishing 2 ¼ lengths behind White Abarrio in the Florida Derby. The son of Not This Time began the year with a front-running score in the mile Mucho Macho Man Jan. 1. After trailing the field early following a troubled start, Simplification closed well to finish second in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull, four lengths behind White Abarrio. With White Abarrio sitting out, Simplification romped to a late-closing 3 ½-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth.

“He is doing very, very good. He's nice and relaxed. I'm very happy with him,” Sano said.

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