Puerto Rico Triple Crown Champ Justiciero Breezes Half-Mile Ahead Of Clasico Del Caribe

Puerto Rico Triple Crown champion Justiciero breezed a half-mile in 50.30 seconds Wednesday morning at Gulfstream Park in preparation for a scheduled start in the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe Dec. 9.

The Clasico del Caribe, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-olds, will be one of five stakes in the Clasico Internacional del Caribe event, which will he hosted for the first time in a country outside the Caribbean and Latin America.

Wednesday’s workout was the first since Justiciero arrived at Gulfstream Park two weeks ago.

“He worked good. He’s not a horse that works hard in the morning,” said trainer Raymond Morales, whose likely Clasico del Caribe favorite galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.80 after completing the last quarter of a mile of his workout under 24 seconds. “He’s not a good-time maker.”

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 (G1) at Camarero, last 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 excited right now, being here and representing Puerto Rico,” said the 21-year-old Morales, who works closely with his father, Ramon, a prominent Puerto Rico trainer who was based at Gulfstream Park for a two-year stay a few years ago. “Puerto Rico is having a bad time this year. I’m here representing Puerto Rico and representing my dad. We’re a team.”

Morales also sent out his other Clasico Internacional del Caribe candidates to the track for half-mile workouts following regular training hours: Platino (Clasico del Caribe) 49.84; Don Carlos R (Copa Confraternidad) 49.38; Catador (Copa Velocidad) 49.37; Sanjuanera (Clasico del Caribe) 51.82.

A contingent of Mexico-based Clasico Internacional del Caribe candidates breezed during training hours, led by Igor, who breezed three furlongs in 35.23 seconds for the Copa Confraternidad, registering the second fastest of 17 recorded workouts at the distance. Inspirato, a candidate for the Clasico del Caribe, breezed three-furlongs in 35.28.

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