HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Three Rules is slated to seek a rebound from his first career loss while maintaining his perfect record at Gulfstream Park in Saturday’s $200,000 Swale (G2).
The son of Going Astray, who hasn’t raced since tasting defeat for the first time while finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 5, has won all five of his races over the Gulfstream Park racetrack by a combined 31 lengths. The Jose Pinchin-trained colt has won four stakes, including a sweep of the Florida Sire Stakes Series with victories in the $200,000 Dr. Fager, the $300,000 Affirmed and the $500,000 In Reality.
“He has matured so much. He’s grown a little bit. He put on some weight. Everything’s good,” Pinchin said. “I’m looking forward to enjoy watching him race again.”
In the Juvenile, Three Rules finished more than 14 lengths behind Classic Empire, who is entered in Saturday’s $350,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
“He had a tough time for a young horse. He ran five races back to back and then he had to ship all the way to California,” Pinchin said. “It was tough on him.”
Three Rules, who will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez Saturday, has produced a strong series of workouts in preparation for his 3-year-old debut against five rivals in the seven-furlong Swale.
“He’s doing everything good. He couldn’t be training better. He’s doing great,” Pinchin said.
While Mark Casse will saddle champion Classic Empire for the Holy Bull later on Saturday’s program, he will also saddle Vanish for the fifth-race Swale. Vanish, who broke his maiden in the Clarendon Stakes in his second of three starts over Woodbine’s synthetic racetrack, is slated to make his first start on dirt Saturday.
“He’s a really nice horse. He has nice form on the synthetic and has trained really well on the dirt. We’re going to give it a try. His numbers are pretty good, but they’re all on synthetic. He has trained better than average on the dirt, so we believe he deserves a shot,” Casse said. “His breeding says, ‘dirt,’ but the truth is I’ve found out over the years, you just never know until you run him.”
The Casse-trained State of Honor made a strong transition from synthetic to Gulfstream’s dirt track Jan. 7 in the Mucho Macho Man, in which he made an impressive run to take the lead in mid-stretch before settling for second, losing to Sonic Mule by a head. State of Honor’s performance has given Casse confidence that Vanish, a son of Algorithms, will also take to dirt.
“He’s really accomplished more on the synthetic than State of Honor, who ran so well in the Mucho Macho Man. State of Honor came to Palm Meadows and trained up a storm on the dirt. That’s why we ran him, and he ran extremely well,” Casse said. “I would put Vanish in that type of category. He’s trained very well on the dirt and deserves a shot, but you never know until you try them.”
Joel Rosario has the mount aboard Gary Barber’s Vanish.
Mucho Macho Man winner Sonic Mule will seek his fourth straight victory for Calumet Farm Saturday. The son of Distorted Humor had won one of three starts before shipping to South Florida in the fall. After finishing second on turf in the Armed Forces Stakes at Gulfstream, the Todd Pletcher trainee won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park West and added stakes victories in the six-furlong Buffalo Man and the mile Mucho Macho Man. John Velazquez has the mount.
Chad Brown-trained Favorable Outcome, who finished far back in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) in his most recent start, will return to dirt for the Swale. The son of Flatter had previously broken his maiden on dirt at Saratoga and finished third in the Champagne (G1) over Belmont’s main track. Javier Castellano, who rode him in both of his dirt starts, has the mount.
Also entered in the Swale: Derek’s Smile, who broke his maiden on dirt at Parx before winning a turf allowance at Gulfstream in December, and the Dale Romans-trained Impressive Edge, an impressive maiden winner at Gulfstream Jan. 15,