Shade Tree Thoroughbreds' multiple stakes-winning homebred Three Rules will get a short break before being pointed to Gulfstream Park's series of stakes races for 3-year-olds capped by the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) April 1.
Trainer Jose Pinchin said the Gone Astray colt returned to South Florida on Wednesday, four days after suffering his first loss in six career starts in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.
“Everything went smooth. He came out of the race 100 percent sound, which was the main thing. The trip was a good experience. He got to compete at the top level,” Pinchin said. “The experience he got will help him so much.”
Three Rules raced three wide chasing the leaders through opening fractions of 23.05 and 46.60 seconds before tiring to sixth, beaten 14 ¾ lengths. He finished ahead of Grade 1 winners Gormley and Klimt and Grade 3 winner Theory.
“He ran good. He had a hard time. He had to van 29 hours to Louisville and then fly to California. He didn't [train] for five days and he was a little bit dull,” Pinchin said. “He broke bad for the first time in his life, but it is what it is.
“You're running against the best of the best,” he added. “They say this crop of 2-year-olds is the best in 10 years. The fractions were fast. He didn't disgrace himself. He had some Grade 1 winners behind him.”
Gulfstream Park will open its 2016-2017 Championship Meet Saturday, Dec. 3. Its series of stakes for 3-year-olds include the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man at one mile Jan. 7, the $350,000 Lambholm South Holy Bull (G2) at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 4 and the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at 1 1/16 miles March 4, leading up to the 66th running of the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby.
Three Rules won his first five races by a combined 31 lengths, capturing the Birdonthewire Stakes July 2 in his second career start before sweeping the 2016 Florida Sire Stakes series.
“He's going to be pointed for those races down here, the Holy Bull and the Florida Derby, if he's good enough. He'll go on that campaign,” Pinchin said. “He'll get 30 days off and then he'll go back in training. He will be competing against some of the same horses [as the Breeders' Cup] during the winter meet, but he'll be fine.”
For more about the ownership behind Three Rules, check out this Paulick Report feature.
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