Three Rules, Cajun Delta Dawn seeking sweeps of Florida Sire Stakes

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Jen Caldwell

September 29th, 2016

Juveniles Three Rules and Cajun Delta Dawn are each looking to complete a sweep of their respective divisions of the Florida Sire Stakes (FSS) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

Three Rules, trained by Jose Pinchin, and Cajun Delta Dawn, saddled by David Fawkes, are both unbeaten from four starts. The former has been unchallenged in his races under returning rider Cornelio Velasquez while Cajun Delta Dawn was forced to work in her initial three.

Three Rules far outclasses his 11 rivals in Saturday’s $500,000 In Reality division after taking the first two legs of the FSS, the Dr. Fager and Affirmed divisions, by seven and 5 1/2 lengths, respectively. The Gone Astray colt earned a stellar 107 BRIS Speed rating for his Dr. Fager romp, but Pinchin thinks his charge could be even better in the In Reality.

“He had a hoof (issue) before the first race and he had a temperature before the second race,” Pinchin explained. “He’s had no issues coming into this race.”

Three Rules set a stakes record while running six furlongs in 1:09.49 in the Dr. Fager despite popping a hoof abscess while readying for the contest.

“He’s matured. He’s gotten a little bit bigger,” Pinchin remarked. “He’s always been a sensible horse. He doesn’t give himself any trouble. Other horses can give themselves trouble, but he doesn’t give himself any trouble. He’s always been a sensible horse.”

Three Rules will be stretching out around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality, but Pinchin isn’t worried.

“I don’t think he’ll have any problem at all,” the conditioner said. “I think he’ll be the controlling speed. I personally think it will be his easiest race with slower fractions. The last time they went (:22.20, :44.80, 1:10). The pace should be much slower (on Saturday).”

If Three Rules succeeds in the In Reality, he’ll become just the fourth horse to emerge from the FSS series undefeated, joining Smile (1984), Seacliff (1995) and Sir Oscar (2003).

Two races before the In Reality, Cajun Delta Dawn will have to overcome the far outside post 13 in her quest to keep her record perfect in the $500,000 My Dear Girl division of the FSS.

The bay daughter of Kantharos has her work cut out for her after taking her initial three starts by a combined two necks and half-length. She showed much more last out in the second leg of the FSS, the Susan’s Girl division, when romping by five lengths, and could go postward as the favorite for the first time in her career in this spot.

“This time, I think she’ll be the favorite. I hope that doesn’t jinx her,” Fawkes chuckled.

“She drew off and she hadn’t been doing that. That was the first time she drew off,” the horseman added about the Susan’s Girl win. “She broke good, and (jockey Juan Leyva) let her go. I think she was very comfortable there.”

Just like Three Rules, Cajun Delta Dawn will be trying a distance around two turns for the first time in the My Dear Girl, and might surprise her trainer again with back-to-back easy scores under the returning Leyva.

“She did surprise me, especially the second race (half-length win in Cassidy Stakes),” Fawkes admitted. “A maiden (win) is one thing, but when you come back and win a stake like that in her second start, that was impressive.”

Cajun Delta Dawn followed up with her gusty neck victory in the Desert Vixen, the first division of the FSS, and then schooled her rivals in the Susan’s Girl.

The Florida-bred miss will join Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) heroine and eventual Eclipse Award champion Awesome Feather as the only fillies to emerge from the FSS series unbeaten if she continues her winning ways Saturday in the My Dear Girl.

Three Rules photo courtesy of Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography
Cajun Delta Dawn photo courtesy of Leslie Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography