Three Rules dominates the Dr. Fager division of the Florida Sire Stakes
Multiple graded-stakes winner Gunnevera and Florida Sire Stakes champion Three Rules spent the final morning of their respective freshman seasons working out Saturday for scheduled 3-year-old debuts at Gulfstream Park Feb. 4.
Gunnevera breezed a ‘bullet’ five furlong in 59.85 seconds at Gulfstream Park West, while Three Rules was timed in 47.20 seconds for a half-mile breeze at Gulfstream Park.
Peacock Racing Stables’ Gunnevera, who worked for the first time since capturing the $ 1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) Nov. 19, is slated to start his 3-year-old campaign in the $ 350,000 Holy Bull (G2). Three Rules, who had his second work back since sustaining his first career loss Nov. 5 in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 5, is expected to run in either the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull or the $ 200,000 Swale (G2) at seven furlongs on the Feb. 4 card.
Gunnevera was ridden by jockey Edgard Zayas Saturday, but the mount aboard the son of Dialed In is available to Javier Castellano, who guided the Antonio Sano-trained colt to a last-to-first 5 ¾-length triumph at Delta Downs.
“He worked excellent,” Sano said. “His next work will be in 15 days. After that he will run in the Holy Bull.”
Sano said current plans are to bypass the $ 400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) and go straight into the $ 1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream April 1 from the Holy Bull.
“The horse is getting bigger and stronger,” Sano said. “The horse is a relaxed horse, very quiet, all the time. I’m very hopeful.”
Gunnevera broke his maiden at Gulfstream July 16 before capturing the $ 200,000 Saratoga Special (G2) Aug. 14. He rebounded from a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland with his impressive triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Delta Jackpot.
Shade Tree Thoroughbreds, Tom Fitzgerald and Geoff Roy’s Three Rules, who had won the first five starts of his career by a combined 31 lengths, had returned to the work tab Dec. 24 with a three-furlong move in 34.10 seconds.
“He worked great this morning. I got him in 47-and-2 (seconds). He’s doing very well,” trainer Jose Pinchin said. “We’re happy with how he’s doing.”
Three Rules swept the three-race Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds at Gulfstream Park, after notching a maiden score over a late-closing Gunnevera in his June 10 debut prior to defeating the Sano-trained colt in the Birdonethewire Stakes July 2.
In the Breeders’ Cup he forced the early pace before fading to sixth in a field of 11, beaten 14 3/4 lengths.
“He looks good. He’s fit. The time off helped him. He went to California a tired horse, and now he’s back on track,” Pinchin said. “He’ll come back in the Swale or the Holy Bull, one of the two. We’ll wait until we get closer to decide.”
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