Jorge Abreu went 2-for-2 at Saratoga in 2016. Woodville, a filly by Ghostzapper and Abreu’s first starter, accounted for both wins and remains special to her trainer.
“Those were some good memories. She was a good horse,” Abreu said this week.
Two years later, Abreu has a lot more than one horse in his care. The former assistant to Chad Brown, John Terranova and Nick Zito has horses spread across four barns in town. His home base is in the Oklahoma Annex, on the backside of Ken McPeek’s shedrow and across from Jeremiah Englehart. Abreu can be found traveling to and from his barns on his golf cart.
“It’s hard, but that’s something I’m used to,” he said. “When I worked with Chad, it was the same way, going back and forth. So far, I can’t complain, everything has been going very well. I have a good mix of horses: 2-year-olds, claiming horses, older horses, and everybody has been running well. I’m blessed with my owners, they let me run where they belong.”
Abreu’s meet has gone well, winning with five of 27 starters through Thursday. Another eight have hit the board. Still in the early stages of starting his own business, Abreu has an eclectic group of horses.
“Each individual, you have to treat them differently,” he said. “You can’t train them all the same.”
Everybody around the racetrack calls Abreu the same nickname, “Titi.”
“That was my nickname I got in 1984 when I first got here,” said the native of the Dominican Republic. “They just started calling me that and that was it. Everyone knows me by that.”
Abreu took a few minutes while watching horses train to go over some of his runners with The Special’s Ben Gowans.
Pas De Soucis: Irish-bred 5-year-old mare won her first American start at Saratoga last year when trained by Chad Brown. She’s made three starts for Abreu this year, placing in two stakes. She was third behind two Brown trainees in the Fasig-Tipton De La Rose Aug. 4. “I was very happy with her race. We got beat by the two best horses in the race. She’s one that I have in mind to take to the Ladies Turf at Kentucky Downs. She’s very easy to train, easy to be around. She’s not the best mover. She’s a weird horse because if you see her gallop, you want no part of her. But when she’s breezing, she’s like a totally different horse.”
Goodthingstaketime: Irish-bred 3-year-old filly was third in yesterday’s Riskaverse. Forced to settle far off the slow early pace, she raced wide on both turns before rallying. She’s run five times this year, all stakes, and hasn’t won but also hasn’t been worse than third. Madaket Stables, Tim and Anna Cambron and Bradley Thoroughbreds own the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor. “I think having no pace killed us, going :25, :50, 1:14. She finished up well. She always shows up, that’s the good thing about her. Also, she’s the type of horse that is going to be a better 4-year-old.”
Frisky Magician: Purchased at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale in 2013, Abreu claimed the turf sprinter for Mike Dubb in December. He finished second in his first start for Abreu and then was fifth in the Grade 3 Twin Spires on Kentucky Oaks Day. He’s the 5-2 morning line favorite in today’s sixth, a 5 1/2-furlong turf optional claimer. “He was a little unlucky with the trip he had here. He just breezed really well. I liked him since Day 1. We claimed him in Florida and gave him a little break. The first time I breezed the horse, I called Mike and told him, ‘This is one horse we’re not running back for a tag.’ He breezed like a horse that could be really good.”
She Doesn’t Mind: French bred 5-year-old mare made her first start for Abreu Aug. 10. She finished second, beaten by Abreu’s former boss, who trained the mare when she first came to the country. She’s owned by Sheep Pond Partners, Tim and Anna Cambron and Bradley Thoroughbreds. “She ran well in a claiming race and I’m just waiting for the same race to come back to put her right back in there. She’s competitive in that group. I have a couple horses for the group and she was moved to me at the end of June.”
Revved Up: Former Shug McGaughey trainee was purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July horses of racing age sale two days after finishing second in Arlington Park’s Grade 3 Arlington Handicap. Kingsport Farm sent him straight to Abreu and the 5-year-old son of Storm Flag Flying is entered to make his first start for new connections in Saturday’s Grade 1 Sword Dancer. “He’s doing very well. I’ve liked him since he came to my barn. Aiming to go in the Sword Dancer. He’s run well here. The owner is new to me. I have a couple nice horses for him.”
Appealing Briefs: Abreu claimed the New York-bred Tizway gelding when he was dropped in for a claiming tag for the first time June 23. That was the 4-year-old’s 14th start and first win. He finished third in an allowance Aug. 1 and is entered back in a similar race Saturday. “He ran well. That race suits him better, going a-mile-and-a-sixteenth. But you know in Saratoga, you think you’re going to have an easy spot and it’s never that way.”
Sister Sophia: One of Abreu’s five winners at the meet, Farone Stables’ New York-bred mare won a turf sprint open allowance Aug. 11. Now 6, she’s only made 14 starts with four wins. “I knew the filly was going to run well, but not that well. The turf being soft, I was a little concerned about that. Not so much her ability, but the turf condition. She ran a huge race that day. She’s a really laid back horse, easy to be around.”
Dorothy’s Dream: Six-year-old daughter of Yes It’s True is also owned by Farone Stables. She’s only made four starts and finished fourth in a maiden special Aug. 9. “I ran her back on dirt after a two-year-layoff because it came off the turf. The plan would be to get her on the turf at Belmont.”
Manoffire: Dorothy’s Dream’s older half-brother is an 8-year-old gelding by Pure Prize. He’s run twice this year, fourth at Belmont in June and then third here Aug. 17 in a 1-mile optional claimer. His trainer liked his chances and the New York-bred outran his odds to finish third. “He ran good off the layoff. I just rested him over the winter because it makes no sense to run him at Gulfstream because he’s a New York-bred. I don’t think he wants to do the 5 1/2 here anymore, so I think the 1 mile is going to be perfect if we get a good pace.”
Bernardino: Dorothy’s Dream and Mannoffire’s unraced 3-year-old half brother is by Paddy O’Prado. He shows a string of local works and is nearing his first start. “He just breezed with Frisky Magician. I like him a lot.”
Espresso Shot: NY Final Furlong Racing Stable’s and Maspeth Stable’s 2-year-old daughter of Mission Impazible cost $69,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. She finished third in her first start Aug. 16, a 5 1/2-furlong turf maiden. “I was happy with her race. Her inexperience got her beat. The 1-2 already had a race under their belt and she looked a little lost. I want to go a little longer with her, but that was the only race they have. I just wanted to go and give her a race. Belmont probably going seven-eighths next time.”
Jody’s Song: Parkland Thoroughbreds bought this daughter of Scat Daddy for $250,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of selected yearlings. She’s made one start, late last September at Belmont in a 1-mile turf maiden. She won by 3 lengths and is entered in Sunday’s seventh race, a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance. “She just breezed really well on the main track with Florent (Geroux). I’m happy with the way she’s doing. She’s a really nice horse.”
Elios Milos: Son of Dublin was purchased at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale before being resold as a 2-year-old. He won his debut at Belmont in May and finished second in his next start. He was entered to run at the meet but was scratched. “I scratched him because the day of the race, he spiked a temp of 104. He’s been walking since. He’s getting better. He won first time out and then second time out he was second.”
Perfect Pitch: Bill Lawrence’s and Bradley Thoroughbreds’ 3-year-old Congrats filly showed speed in her first start Aug. 15 before fading to seventh. “I knew she was going to run well but she ran better than I expected. One thing I wasn’t too crazy about was that she made the lead because she doesn’t train like a horse that has that type of speed. But like I say, some of them train one way in the morning and run another way in the afternoon. I think the mile-and-a-sixteenth might be a little long for her, so I’m going to cut her back in distance at Belmont.”
Hit A Provisional: Off The Hook bought this daughter of Northern Afleet for $30,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga New York-bred yearling sale. Off The Hook is partners with Doheny Racing Stable and Thomas Coleman on the filly, who finished second in her debut June 13. Abreu has entered her three times at the meet and he’s been forced to scratch her every time due to the races being taken off the turf. “She’s been very unlucky having to scratch a few times. I just to have to wait. She ran well first time. I didn’t really expect it. She gave me the impression she was going to need a race.”
Muchacha Uno: Abreu claimed 3-year-old Macho Uno filly for Dubb in April. In her first start for new connections, she defeated stablemate Special Trip and eight others Aug. 2. “We claimed her for 50 and gave her a little time off. She really surprised me. I thought Special Trip was going to run better than her. I thought she was a work away, but I guess not. She came out of the race really well.”
Heroic Activist: Parkland Thoroughbreds’ 2-year-old Declaration Of War filly made her first start Aug. 19. She finished sixth behind runaway winner Newspaperofrecord. Abreu liked the $175,000 2-year-old buy but knew what she was up against. “I really like her. Unfortunately, she has to run against one of Chad’s best. She’s turf. I think she can do both, but I like her better on the turf than the dirt. She breezes well on the turf. I picked her in the sale as a 2-year-old.”
Stellar Agent: Two-year-old daughter of More Than Ready cost $150,000 this year and has been working steadily. “She breezed out of the gate with Manny Franco (Aug. 19). I like her. There’s a race on the 1st, that’s where I’m going with her. She trains well on both dirt and turf.”