HALLANDALE BEACH, Florida, CMC – Saffie Joseph Jr continued to feel the pinch of his suspension from the world-renowned Churchill Downs racetrack in the United States with the connections of Florida Derby winner White Abarrio removing the horse from the barn of the Barbadian ace trainer.
On Tuesday, owners Clint and Mark Cornett of the C2 Racing Stable announced via Twitter. They said the change was necessary because of a need for answers from multiple jurisdictions about the status of Joseph.
“Twenty days ago, the primary trainer for C2 Racing Stable, Saffie Joseph Jr, was indefinitely suspended by a racetrack operator, and since this suspension, we have not been successful in obtaining the necessary answers from several racing jurisdictions or racetrack operators regarding future race nominations and race entries by Saffie Joseph Jr,” the statement posted on Twitter indicated.
“Due to the lack of answers by jurisdictions and operators, they have made it very difficult to manage the remainder of White Abarrio’s four-year-old campaign, thus requiring us to make a trainer change for the rest of the year.
“This is not our preference; however, we had two choices, remain with Saffie, not knowing if our race nominations or entries would be accepted, or make a trainer change so that we can nominate White Abarrio to the Metropolitan Mile on June 10, 2023, and future races.”
C2 Racing Stable said they would transfer White Abarrio to Rick Dutrow Jr, who trained 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown and won his first race on May 6 after returning from a 10-year suspension by New York racing officials.
Dutrow, 63, had his license revoked for ten years and was fined U.S. $50 000 after being charged with numerous medication and administrative violations, including finding syringes filled with unauthorized substances in his barn.
“The decision to make a trainer change is solely based on the ability to manage White Abarrio,” C2 Racing Stable stable added. “We have the utmost confidence and trust in Saffie Joseph Jr and his team.
“We know from first-hand experience and being at the barn almost daily for the past year that he and his team deeply care for the welfare and condition of the horses. We remain fully committed to Saffie, and our 12 horses under his care will remain as we are very confident Saffie will be reinstated and fully vindicated soon.
“White Abarrio will arrive at Belmont Park to his new trainer Richard Dutrow Jr to begin preparing for the Metropolitan Mile on June 10, 2023.”
Joseph was suspended indefinitely from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 4, two days before the Kentucky Derby.
His Derby entrant, Lord Miles, and several others set to race on the day were scratched following the unexplained deaths of two horses from his barn during or after races at the track.
No ruling has been issued against Joseph by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, and Joseph has fumed the track’s actions against him were an attempt to distract from a broader issue with equine fatalities there.
Seven horses died at Churchill Downs in 10 days, about the same time as the Kentucky Derby.