February 27, 2021

Drain the Clock crushes Swale foes; Chess’s Dream comfortably takes Kitten’s Joy

Drain the Clock
Drain the Clock wins the Swale Stakes (Coglianese Photos/Lauren King)

Saturday’s Holy Bull S. (G3) undercard at Gulfstream Park featured a pair of graded stakes for three-year-old males.

Swale Stakes

Drain the Clock continued his upward trajectory in the sprint ranks, romping by a 6 1/4-length margin in the $100,000 Swale S. (G3). The 11-10 favorite showed speed from the start, tracking the pace before seizing command on the far turn, and Drain the Clock drew off spectacularly into stretch.

The Maclean’s Music colt won under wraps with Edgard Zayas, completing 7 furlongs in 1:23.29, and Drain the Clock recorded his fourth victory five starts. He was exiting a 7 1/2-length triumph in the Jan. 2 Limehouse S. at Gulfstream, and his lone setback came due to an equipment failure, losing the jockey in the early stages of his third career start.

Slam Dunk Racing, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, and Michael Nentwig campaign the exciting three-year-old, and Saffie Joseph Jr. trains.

“I’m very impressed,” Zayas said. “He’s just improving every race. He’s such an easy horse to ride. He breaks out of the gate like a rocket and positions himself in a perfect spot, and when it’s time to run he kicks on. He’s a really nice horse. I think he’s maturing a lot.”

Drain the Clock has been favored in every start, and his four wins have come by a combined 20 1/4 lengths. But he almost didn’t make it to the Swale starting gate.

“He made it easy today, but 12 days ago he colicked really bad and went to the clinic,” Saffie said. “Thank God, he got there, and he was good. To see him win like that today – he’s a good horse. We had to make the call after he breezed on Tuesday. There was no pressure to run. He worked good Tuesday and didn’t give us any reason to say, ‘no.’”

Bred in Kentucky by Nick Cosato, Drain the Clock is the first stakes winner out of the Arch mare Manki.

King’s Ovation rallied to be a clear second at 36-1, three lengths better than 19-1 Ultimate Badger. Likeable, Poppy’s Place, and By George came next under the wire.

Kitten’s Joy Stakes

Chess’s Dream kicked off Saturday’s stakes action with a two-length score in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy (G3). After saving ground with Tyler Gaffalione, the Mike Maker-trained colt rallied up the inside to strike the front in upper stretch, and he drew away to an easy win in the one-mile turf affair.

Owned by Michael Dubb, Steven Bouchey, Bethlehem Stables, and Chester Bishop, Chess’s Dream was overlooked as the 8-1 third choice among six sophomores. The Florida-bred son of Jess’s Dream was exiting a five-length romp over state-bred maiden special weight rivals in mid-December, and the dark bay improved his record to 5-2-2-0.

Never Surprised, the 3-10 favorite following a convincing turf stakes win at Aqueduct in late November, rallied belatedly to edge pacesetter Original by a nose for second. It was another nose back to Sigiloso in fourth. Kentucky Pharoah and It’s a Gamble completed the order.

Bred by Loren Roberts, Chess’s Dream is a half-brother to Grade 2 victor Casa Creed, who also won the Kitten’s Joy in 2010. They hail from the Bellamy Road mare Achalaya.