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Three Rules on the Comeback Trail in Gulfstream's Big Drama

by Jerry Shottenkirk

May 12, 2018

The good ones make it easy to welcome them back to action.

Three Rules is one of those. Trainer Jose Pinchin had the Gone Astray colt on the Derby trail last year, based at Gulfstream. He makes his first local start since July 1, when he won the Grade 3 Carry Back, and 1st overall start since a runner-up finish to Mo Cash in a Florida Sire sprint at Tampa.

He’s the 7-to-5 morning line favorite in today’s $100,000 Big Drama Stakes and is a single in the attractive late Pick 4 at Hallandale Beach. The Big Drama is seven furlongs for Florida-breds.

Three Rules has class but has been distance-challenged against top-flight open company. Against Florida-breds, he won the In Reality going 1 1-16th miles and used it as a launching pad to get to the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. He weakened and finished sixth that day and came back as a decent 3-year-old. He was second in the seven-furlong Swale and was third in the Fountain of Youth. His last distance attempt came in the Florida Derby, when he set the pace, weakened in the stretch and finished fifth. He’s been a sprinter since April 2017, stands at $964.160 in earnings and has won half of his 12 career starts.

Kroy, trained by Armando De la Cerda, comes off a huge effort on turf as he was 2nd behind Bowies Hero in the Mathis Brothers Stakes at Santa Anita in December. His best races have been on the turf and is likely the top option for those who feel Three Rules is vulnerable. Kroy won the Tortugas Stakes here on turf and followed with a front-inning score at this distance in the slop.

Here’s the suggested ticket for the Late Pick 4:

Race 9: #1 Browns Gap, #4 Ship Disturber
Race 10: #2 R Baby Driver, #3 Nonno Nino, #6 Going To The Beach, #8 Mr. Spike, #9 The Chanchi, #11 Knucklehead
Race 11: #1 Three Rules
Race 12: #1 Two Diamonds, #2 Miss Surprise, #8 Divine Diva, #9 Miss Casuarina, #13 Jubilant
50-cent Pick 4: 1-4 with 2-3-6-8-9 11 with 1 with 1-2-8-9-13 ($30)