SWALE STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 3 | 7 FURLONGS
Cutting back in trip from 1 1/16 miles, Clearly Now improved his record to three-for-three in one-turn races with a decisive 1 3/4-length tally in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Swale at Gulfstream Park.
Under Luis Saez, the 7-1 chance stalked outside in mid-pack as Tulira Castle set a modest opening quarter of :23. The Brian Lynch trainee remained on hold as 50-1 outsider Singanothersong forged clear to lead by a half-length through a :46 1/5 half-mile, but after a four-wide bid turning for home Clearly Now was easily moving best of all in the stretch. The dark bay kicked clear late to finish up in 1:23 over a fast track.
"The turn back in distance worked well," Lynch said. "He bobbled a little at the start which may have been a blessing in disguise. Luis [Saez] gave him a great ride and didn't rush him. Then he finished up strong."
Clearly Now, who races for Up Hill Stable, returned $16, $8.20 and $5.20. Singanothersong just held off 4-1 second choice Undrafted by a nose, with Tulira Castle another half-length behind in fourth.
Completing the order of finish were even-money favorite Forty Tales, Little Distorted, Dighton, Res Judicata, Gombey Dancer, Nevada and Triple Cross. Are You Kidding Me and Merit Man were scratched.
Based at Woodbine at two, Clearly Now won at first asking by 1 1/2 lengths and then prevailed in allowance company by a half-length. Both races were over the Toronto course's Polytrack at a distance of six furlongs. The Horse Greeley colt then set the pace before tiring to third in the December 1 Display going 1 1/16 miles.
In his sophomore bow, Clearly Now was a 42-1 longshot in the Grade 3 Holy Bull on January 26. A pace-pressing second through the opening half-mile, the colt gradually lost ground thereafter but held on for third, 13 1/2 lengths behind Itsmyluckyday. His record now stands at 5-3-0-2, $214,598.
"With a three-year-old you're always tempted to think of the big races. We'll see how he comes out of it and talk about what's next," Lynch added. "If we decide to try him long again, the Florida Derby [on March 30] is here and would be a possibility. Who knows? He might turn out to be a top turf miler. We'll see."
Bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm, Clearly Now was a $30,000 Keeneland September yearling. Produced by the multiple stakes-placed Bend, a daughter of Arch, Clearly Now hails from the family of multiple Grade 2 queen Wend.