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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Clearly Now Cuts Back in Swale


Clearly Now, a distant third behind Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby as a 42-to-1 longshot in the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes, will run in Saturday's Grade II Swale Stakes going seven furlongs at Gulfstream Park.

A Kentucky-bred by Horse Greeley, Clearly Now made three starts at Woodbine last year, winning the first two sprinting in September and November before a third-place effort in the Display Stakes on Dec. 1. He set the pace to mid-stretch of that 1 1/16 miles test before giving way to Avie's Quality and My Name Is Michael

“He ran all right in the Holy Bull,” said trainer Brian Lynch. “I just don’t think he’s ready for the horses he has to face down here right now going two turns. But the race in the Holy Bull is ideal to set him up to come back at seven-eighths. I still think he’ll stretch out with maturity when we get back to Toronto.”

Merit Man Being Considered

 Merit Man won $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes at six furlongs virtually wire-to-wire on New Year’s day, but he came back to finish fourth under Paco Lopez in the Grade II Hutcheson Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 2. He may try seven furlongs again in the Swale.

“It was a disappointing race, but not terrible,” said trainer Bob Hess. “I probably over-instructed the jockey, trying to see if he could be rated. I think he’s best if you just let him run his race. We’ll enter in the Swale and take a look, see who is in it and what post we draw. If we don’t like it, we can run him in the OBS race the next week.”

Merit Man is a Florida-bred son of With Distinction purchased for $75,000 at the OBS April 2-year-old sales. He made all three of his starts as a 2-year-old in California. After a winning debut at Del Mar in early September, he won the Tim Conway Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita in early October before losing a nose decision to longshot Hightail in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint.

The OBS Sprint at six furlongs will be run at the Ocala Training Center on March 11.

Edited Gulfstream Park release


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