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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Slam Dunk Racing homebred Drain the Clock is nearing his first appearance on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail after breezing 4 furlongs at Gulfstream Park Sunday.
A winner in 4 of 5 starts including local scores in the Limehouse Stakes and the Swale Stakes (G3), Drain the Clock covered 4 furlongs in :49.02 during his first work since dominating his Swale opponents by 6 1/4 lengths.
“It was his first easy breeze by himself,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “Next week, we’ll put in company. I didn’t want him to go with company today because I didn’t want him to go too fast. By himself, he’ll go as slow as you want; in company, he gets more aggressive.”
Undefeated in 3 tries over the Gulfstream Park dirt, Drain the Clock’s logical next step could be the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) here on February 27, a 1 1/16-mile test that would be his first time routing.
At Gulfstream Park, the finish line for a 1 1/16-mile dirt race is the 1/16 pole, so those events often (but not always) favor front-runners like Drain the Clock.
The 1 1/16-mile Tampa Bay Derby (G2) nearby and Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes (G3) (a one-turn mile configuration) are also possible, though Joseph Jr. seems to have the Tampa Bay Derby at the bottom of the totem pole.
“He’s also nominated to the Tampa Bay Derby, but I would say it’s between the Fountain of Youth or the Gotham,” he said.
The Tampa Bay Derby and Gotham are both scheduled for March 6. All three races are worth 50 Kentucky Derby points to the winner.
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