At least for one Saturday, a return to a sprint distance proved to be a winning move with 3-year-old colt Clearly Now, and a stretch out in distance produced the same result for 3-year-old filly Kitten’s Point.
At a cool and windy Gulfstream Park, Clearly Now beat Singanothersong by 1 3/4 lengths in the $150,000 Swale Stakes (Grade 3).
In his previous race, Clearly Now finished third in the Holy Bull (Grade 3) at 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream on Jan. 26.
“He probably is better at one turn,” Brian Lynch, the trainer of Clearly Now, said following Saturday’s race.
Kitten’s Point edged Tokyo Time by a neck following a roughly run final 200 yards in the $150,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
The stewards conducted an inquiry on an incident in which Caroline Thomas, the fifth-place finisher, bumped with Tokyo Time. But they determined there would be no change in the order of finish.
The wins were the first in a stakes for Clearly Now and Kitten’s Point.
Clearly Now came into the Swale with two wins, both in sprints, in four starts.
At 7-1, he was the fourth betting choice in an 11-horse field.
He was in fifth place after a half mile and rallied to take the lead entering the stretch. He drew away to win in 1:23.19 under Luis Saez.
“If we decide to try him long again, the Florida Derby [March 30] is here and would be a possibility,” Lynch said.
Singanothersong, at 50-1, led through the first half mile and took second place by a nose over Undrafted.
In her last race before Saturday, Kitten’s Point finished second in a one-mile turf allowance at Gulfstream on Feb. 2.
Trainer Graham Motion said he expected that Saturday’s added distance would help Kitten’s Point.
She was ridden by Edgar Prado and won n 1:50.22.
On Sunday, Gulfstream will have the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (Grade 3) at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-old males. Charming Kitten and Rydilluc are likely favorites in an 11-horse field.
• Vyjack remained unbeaten in four career starts by defeating West Hills Giant by 2 1/2lengths in Saturday’s $400,000 Gotham Stakes (Grade 3) at Aqueduct in Ozone Park, N.Y.
The win was worth 50 points under this year’s new system for qualifying for the Kentucky Derby. Vyjack ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.09.
• Orb, the winner of the Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) on Feb. 23, is training well and is scheduled to run in the $1 million Florida Derby (Grade 1) at Gulfstream on March 30.
On the morning following the Fountain of Youth, second-place finisher Violence was found to have fractured a sesamoid bone in his right hind leg.
Violence will not be able to run in any of the Triple Crown races, trainer Todd Pletcher said.
The Florida Derby field also will probably include Itsmyluckyday and Bobby Shanghai, the winner and second-place finisher, respectively, in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan. 26.