White Abarrio to Scratch From G1 Carter

April 7, 2023

White Abarrio after his March 4 allowance win at Gulfstream Park (Ryan Thompson)

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. said that C Two Racing Stable and Antonio Pagnano’s multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire White Abarrio spiked a temperature after shipping up to New York from Florida and will scratch from Saturday’s Grade 1 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Bets, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Last year’s Grade 1 Florida Derby winner arrived at Belmont Park on Tuesday from his home base at Gulfstream Park and the conditioner said the colt will now target the Grade 3, $175,000 Westchester on May 5, a one-turn mile over Big Sandy for older horses.

“He had a little temperature Tuesday and we treated him that night. He seemed to be OK when we entered him on Wednesday, but this morning he coughed a couple times and that was the last straw for us,” Joseph, Jr. said. “It’s disappointing to miss a chance at a Grade 1, but that’s how it goes. All being well, he’ll stay there and train and point for the Westchester.”

Joseph, Jr. said his two contenders for Saturday’s Grade 2 Wood Memorial – Lord Miles and Knox – are in good order.

White Abarrio captured the Florida Derby at Gulfstream in April en route to finishing 16th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby. He completed a productive 7-2-1-1 sophomore campaign in December with a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap presented by NYRA Bets.

The 4-year-old Race Day colt, a five-time winner at Gulfstream, made his seasonal debut with an eighth-place effort in the nine-furlong Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational, before the conditioner decided to focus the gray on one-turn tests beginning with a sharp optional-claiming win sprinting seven furlongs on March 4 at Gulfstream that garnered a career-best 103 Beyer.

White Abarrio’s long-term goal is the Grade 1, $1 million Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan on June 10 at Belmont Park.

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