Clearly Now finished a distant third behind Itsmyluckyday and
Shanghai Bobby as a 42-to-1 longshot in the $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes
(G3) going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26 for trainer Brian
Lynch, but will turn back in distance for his second start of the season
to run in next Saturday’s $150,000 Swale Stakes (G2) at seven furlongs.
“He ran all right in the Holy Bull,” said Lynch Friday afternoon
after saddling Original Cast to win the sixth race. “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.”
A Kentucky-bred by Horse Greeley, Clearly Now made three starts at
Woodbine in Canada last year, winning the first two sprinting in
September and November before a third-place effort in the $150,000
Display Stakes on Dec. 1 after setting the pace to mid-stretch of that 1
1/16 miles test.
Merit Man Will Get a Look at Swale Stakes
Bruce Chandler and partners’ 3-year-old Merit Man won $100,000
Spectacular Bid Stakes at six furlongs virtually wire-to-wire at
Gulfstream Park on New Year’s Day for trainer Bob Hess, Jr., and came
back to finish fourth in the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G2) at seven
furlongs on Feb. 2, beaten 2 ¾ lengths for it all by Honorable Dillon.
“It was a disappointing race, but not terrible,” said Hess. “I
probably over-instructed the jockey (Paco Lopez) 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
Merit Man is a Florida-bred son of With Distinction purchased for
$75,000 at the OBS April 2-year-old sales and 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 ½ lengths at Santa
Anita in early October before losing a nose decision to longshot
Hightail in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita on
Merit Man raced in third and fourth early in the Hutcheson and
finished evenly. The $150,000 Swale Stakes (G2) will be run here next
Saturday and the $50,000 OBS Sprint at six furlongs will be run at the
Ocala Training Center on Mon., Mar. 11.
Hess also was disappointed with the last race of another stable star
when Schroeder Farm LLC and partners’ 5-year-old Irish-bred mare
Kadaya, who won a pair of allowance races in her first starts in the
U.S. here in December and January. She came back to finish
non-threatening fifth as the 2-to-1 second choice in the $100,000 The
Very One Stakes (G3) going 1 3/8 miles last Saturday, beaten 13 lengths
by favorite Starformer.
“She had a legitimate excuse,” said Hess. “She suffered from the
‘thumps’ and was never in it. She’ll be okay and we’ll still consider
the race at the end of the meet,” referring to the $150,000 Orchid
Stakes (G3) to be run at 1 ½ miles on turf on Florida Derby Day., Sat.,
The ‘thumps’ are the result of an electrolyte imbalance in a horse’s
body caused by heat and/or dehydration with a number of solutions to
prevent a recurrence. The ‘thumps’ affect heart rate and breathing.
A daughter of Selkirk, Kadaya won one of five starts with three
seconds in as many starts at French provincial tracks in 2011 for
breeder The Aga Khan and was purchased by her current connections
thereafter at auction in France.