Clasico Del Caribe: Probable Favorites El Cubita, Justiciero Breeze At Gulfstream

Lightly raced El Cubita, winner last time out of the Clasico International Simon Bolivar (G1) at La Rinconada in Venezuela, breezed five furlongs Saturday morning in 1:00.03.

El Cubita will be one of the favorites Saturday, Dec. 9 in the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe, one of five races comprising the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, the premier Thoroughbred event in the Caribbean. Gulfstream will become the first par-mutuel facility outside Latin America and the Caribbean to host the Clasico Internacional del Caribe since its inception in 1966.

“The horse did today what we expected from him,” said trainer Juan Carlos Avila. “He performed a comfortable breeze. He returned breathing well. I’m focused on my horse training. He is very fit and he’s getting stronger and better every day by day since his arrival to the track two weeks ago. He is going to deliver a good performance in the race.”

El Cubita is by the Kentucky-bred Mr Maccool, who was third in the 2008 Kent Stakes (G3) at Delaware, out of the Florida-bred mare Lady Lankford, who won seven of 36 races in the U.S.

After breaking his maiden at La Rinconada in May, El Cubita finished second in the Clasico Republica Bolivariana (G1) and Clasico Invitacional del Caribe before his victory in the Simon Bolivar.

Entries and post positions will be drawn Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Puerto Rico Triple Crown Champion Justiciero breezed a half-mile in 49.55 seconds Friday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for a scheduled start Dec. 9 in the $300,000 Clasico delCaribe presented by Fasig-Tipton.

The Clasico del Caribe, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds, will be the feature of the $600,000 Clasico Internacional del Caribe program of five stakes for horses based in the Caribbean and Latin America.  Gulfstream will become the first pari-mutuel facility outside Latin America and the Caribbean to host the event since its inception in 1966.

Trainer Raymond Morales sent the 3-year-old Justiciero to the Gulfstream track to work in company with Don Carlos R, an 8-year-old gelding with 24 career wins. Justiciero worked inside of his older rival in his final breeze for his much anticipated start in the Clasico del Caribe.

“They went real good. In the beginning they went easy and they finished strong,” said Ramon Morales, who works closely with his son, Raymond Morales.

The Puerto Rico-bred son of Coach Billy G., who earned his Triple Crown championship with commanding victories in the Derby Puertorriquero (G1), Copa Gobernador (G1) and the Copa San Juan at Camarero, last officially raced on Aug.20, winning the Clasico Antonio Mongil Jr. Stakes (G2). Although training programs of Justiciero and all horses in Puerto Rico were interrupted by the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Maria, Justiciero and others competed in an exhibition race at still-shuttered Camarero Oct. 29.

“I’m really happy with him. The more days he’s here the stronger he gets. He’s real happy,” Morales said.

Juan Carlos Diaz, Puerto Rico’s leading jockey for many years who is currently riding with success at Gulfstream Park, has the mount aboard Justiciero.

Don Carlos R. is slated to run in the $100,000 Copa Confraternidad, a 1 ¼-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.

Morales sent three other Clasico Internacional del Caribe candidates, Sanjuanera, Platino and Catador, to the Gulfstream track Friday.

Sanjuanera, a 3-year-old filly, and Platino, a 3-year-old colt, breezed a half-mile in company in 47.12 seconds, the fastest clocking of 49 recorded at the distance.

“[Platino] went too fast. I wanted it in 48-and-2, 48-and-4. I wanted him to work with the filly, because she had a real slow work last week. I wanted her to have company to make her work. I think they went too fast,” Morales said.

Catador, a candidate for the Copa Velocidad, breezed a half-mile in 49.41.

The post Clasico Del Caribe: Probable Favorites El Cubita, Justiciero Breeze At Gulfstream appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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