After bobbling at the start, Clearly Now rated kindly in fifth, rallied around horses at the top of the stretch and won the seven-furlong, Grade III Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
With the outcome of the race in question with a furlong left, Clearly Now, at 7-1 odds, edged clear to score by 1 3/4 length over 50-to-1 longshot Singanothersong.
Clearly Now was making his first start since finishing third behind Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby in the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes going 1 1/16 mile on Jan. 26 in his 3-year-old debut. Clearly Now won his first two starts sprinting at Woodbine in Canada last year for trainer Brian Lynch before a third-place try in the Display Stakes racing around two turns for the first time on Dec. 1.
In the Swale, Singanothersong, at 50-1, dueled for the lead with 45-to-1 longshot Tulira Castle through moderate fractions of :23.19 and :46.28 in the field of 11. Clearly Now caught them nearing the eighth pole. Undrafted, at 4-1, finished third, beaten a nose for second, and Tulira Castle stayed on for fourth. Even-money favorite Forty Tales checked in fifth.
Following those across the finish line were Little Distorted, Dighton, Res Judicata, Gombey Dancer, Nevada and Triple Cross.
After the race, Lynch said the Grade I Florida Derby could be next for Clearly Now. He would once again face Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby.
Clearly Now paid $16.00 and was timed in a moderate 1:23:19.
Up Hill Stable owns Clearly Now, a Kentucky-bred son of Horse Greeley from the hands of Kentucky's Claiborne Farm. He's out of the Arch mare Bend. Clearly Now was bought for $30,000 at the Keeneland September 2011 yearling sale.
Brian Lynch: “The turn back in distance worked well. He bobbled a little at the start, which may have been a blessing in disguise. Luis gave him a great ride and didn’t rush him. Then he finished up strong. With a 3-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. If we decide to try him long again, the Florida Derby is here and would be a possibility. Who knows? He might turn out to be a top turf miler. We’ll see.”
Luis Saez: "We had a little trouble at the half mile pole. When I took him out, he was flying. I like this horse a lot. I knew I had a good chance from his last race. He finished third last time running against Itsmyluckyday, and he needed that race, so I knew he'd do well today."
Edited Gulfstream Park release with additional content by Dick Downey
Photo by Kenny Martin