From the Gulfstream Park Media Team:
Drain the Clock kept on ticking in Saturday’s $100,000 Claiborne Farm Swale (G3) at Gulfstream Park, running his South Florida record to 4-for-4 with a dominating 6 ¼-length triumph.
The Swale, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, was featured on a 12-race program with five graded stakes, headlined by the $200,000 Holy Bull (G3).
Drain the Clock, whose only loss in five career starts came at Delta Downs when his rider was unseated after a rein broke, was particularly impressive Saturday when it was revealed that the son of Maclean’s Music was treated for a case of colic less than two weeks earlier.
“He made it easy today, but 12 days ago he colicked really bad and went to the clinic. Thank God, he got there, and he was good,” trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. said. “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.’”
Owned by Slam Dunk Racing, Madaket Racing Stables LLC, Wonder Stables and Michael Nentwig, Drain the Clock was sent to post as the even-money favorite in a field of six on the strength of his 7 ½-length victory in the six-furlong Limehouse Stakes Jan. 2 at Gulfstream. The Kentucky-bred colt broke alertly from the starting gate to rate outside pacesetter Poppy’s Pride, who set fractions of 22.48 and 45.27 seconds for the first half-mile. Drain the Clock moved effortless to the lead under Edgar Zayas on the turn into the stretch and continued on to score a comfortable victory.
Drain the Clock ran seven furlongs in 1:23.29 after being taken under wraps approaching the finish.
“I’m very impressed. 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,” Zayas said. “I think he’s maturing a lot. He’s running way more straight and more focused into the race. Sometimes inside the gate he was a little nervous but today he was awesome. I think he’s improving; hopefully he can stretch out his speed a little bit more.”
King’s Ovation and Ultimate Badger, the longest and second-longest shots on the board, finishes second and third for trainer Dale Romans.
Drain the Clock won his Sept. 12 debut in a five-furlong off-the-turf race at Gulfstream by six lengths and came right back to win a first-level optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream Park West. Favored in the Nov. 30 Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs, Drain the Clock lost his rider after a rein broke during the race, but has rebounded nicely with back-to-back scores in the Limehouse and Swale.
The $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) Feb. 27 at Gulfstream Park will be taken into consideration for Drain the Clock’s next start, Joseph said.
“Everything will be under consideration. We’ll talk to the owners, obviously, but there’s no pressure to push that route. If everything goes good, I’m sure we’ll try it,” Joseph said. “He looks like he’ll get further.”
The 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth is the major prep for the $750,000 Curlin Florida Derby presented by Hill ‘n Dale at Xalapa.