HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP)White Abarrio and Charge It were the first two horses across the finish line at the Florida Derby on Saturday.

Soon, both might be on their way to Churchill Downs.

White Abarrio made a big move to prevail in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, getting to the lead in the stretch and holding off a late challenge from Charge It to win the Grade 1, $1 million race.

”I don’t even know what to say right now,” said winning jockey Tyler Gaffalione, a South Florida native. ”I feel like I’m on cloud nine. I’m just so thankful and I feel so blessed. This is all my childhood dreams come true. To win the Florida Derby, growing up down here, it’s just so amazing.”

But what mattered most to those horses was points: White Abarrio got 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points for the win and is now certain to have a spot in the May 7 race at Churchill Downs, while Charge It got 40 for finishing second – which should be enough to get him in the first race of this year’s Triple Crown series as well.

”I think he earned enough points and showed he’s good enough now,” Charge It trainer Todd Pletcher said. ”Just got to see how he comes out of it and come up with a plan.”

White Abarrio finished the 1-1/8 miles in 1 minute, 50.78 seconds for Gaffalione and trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. White Abarrio returned $7.80, $4.20 and $2.80 for the win. Charge It paid $5 and $3.20 to place and Simplification paid $2.60 to show.

If all goes to plan, White Abarrio will be the second Kentucky Derby starter for Joseph. He took Ny Traffic there in 2020 and finished eighth.

”You just want it to stay somewhat healthy and go there and get a clean trip,” he said. ”It’s going to be a nice journey to enjoy. I’m going to try to enjoy it, and hopefully all goes well, and we’ll get to show up at the Derby and enjoy it like we enjoyed today.”

There could be as many as five horses from the Florida Derby heading to the Kentucky Derby.

Simplification and Classic Causeway – the Florida Derby’s early leader – had enough points before Saturday. Simplification’s third-place finish earned him 20 points, pushing his total to 74. Classic Causeway faded about midway through Saturday’s race and remained at 66 points, which will be more than enough if his connections decide to send him to Kentucky.

And Pappacap was fourth and got 10 points, giving him 24 – possibly enough to get him into the Kentucky Derby mix.