joined the 2022 Kentucky Derby trail with a decisive 4 1/2-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream. The victory earned him 10 qualifying points, bringing his total to 12.
The pretty gray colt blasted out of post 8, and Tyler Gaffalione guided him over to the two path to press galt, who also broke quickly to gain position. Gaffalione’s tactic kept White Abarrio from having to go too wide around the first turn. They kept the pressure on Galt around the second turn, and then Gaffalione kicked in another gear to open up and win the 1 1/16 mile race in 1:42.80. projected pacesetter Simplification
was slow out of the gate but closed for second place, and Mo Donegal
closed fastest of all to miss second money by a head.
The Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee earned his other two Derby points by finishing third in last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). That stakes is shaping up as a key race and produced Lecomte hero Call Me Midnight.
A $7,000 OBS Winter short yearling purchase bred by Spendthrift Farm, White Abarrio was pinhooked and sold for $40,000 at last year’s OBS March sale to trainer Carlos Perez for owner Clap Embroidery. After White Abarrio’s debut, he was purchased privately by C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC.
White Abarrio (Race Day – Catching Diamonds, by Into Mischief) is the first starter out of Catching Diamonds. He has a 2-year-old half-brother named Cage Match (Gormley) and an unnamed yearling brother by Lord Nelson.
Catching Diamonds (Into Mischief – Grand Breeze, by Grand Slam) was a $425,000 Keeneland yearling starts but was unplaced in three career as a 2- and 3-year-old. She’s a half-sister to the multiple stakes-winning sprinter Cool Cowboy (Kodiak Kowboy), who earned $844,783 in 25 starts.
Catching Diamonds half-sister Downside Scenario (Scat Daddy) produced 2020 Bourbon Stakes (G2) winner Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief), who returned to win the Mucho Macho Man stakes the following year. Catching Diamonds half-sister Appeal to the Win is a stake-placed turf sprinter.
Although none of White Abarrio’s first three dams own black type, they and their daughters are rewarding producers of sprinter/miler types. The most accomplished runners in the third generation are Grade 2-winning turf star Pee Wee Reece (Tribal Rule) and Brazilian Champion 2-year-old Filly Juno (Setembro Chove, BRZ), who placed third as a turf miler in three graded stakes in the US
White Abarrio’s sire Race Day (Tapit – Rebalite, by More Than Ready) found his stride as a 3-year-old, winning a pair of Grade 2s – the Oaklawn Handicap and Fayette at 1 1/8 miles – plus the 1 1/ 16 mile Razorback Handicap (G3). By the end of his 3-year-old season, Race Day had accumulated $748,000 in a dozen starts. He retired for the 2016 breeding season at Spendthrift Farm for $7,000. Five years later, Race Day was sold to Korea.
Race Day has 87 winners from 139 starters and seven stakes winners, five of whom are listed, including last year’s Silverbulletday heroine Charlie’s Penny. White Abarrio is his first graded winner.
Into Mischief is just getting started as a broodmare sire. To date, he has 72 starters, 43 winners, and five black-type winners, including last year’s Prioress (G2) winner Cilla and Cal Cup Derby hero Big Fish.
Kentucky Derby contender or contender? Two colts have accomplished the Holy Bull/Kentucky Derby double: Go for Gin in 1994 and Barbaro in 2006. More recently, Tiz the Law (2020) was second and Audible (2018) third in the Derby.
So far, Tapit and his sons are lacking a Kentucky Derby winner on their resume, but Constitution came close when Tiz the Law finished second in 2020.
White Abarrio has a solid middle-distance pedigree and physically resembles his sire Race Day and second tail sire Tapit.
Other factors come into play that could help him go farther, including a smooth gait without excessive movement or paddling and his mental acumen.
White Abarrio is professional, switches leads properly and is athletic enough to break sharply yet relax enough to save energy for his final run. This is unusual for offspring from the Tapit line as they can be quirky and headstrong. This will help White Abarrio as distances get longer.
Joseph will discuss the March 5 Fountain of Youth (G2) with the connections but might bypass the race for the April 2 Florida Derby (G1).