Legalize Ventures to Gulfstream for Claiborne Farm Swale
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Legalize will venture to Gulfstream Park in search of his third straight victory and second stakes success in a row in Saturday’s $125,000 Claiborne Farm Swale.
The Swale, a seven-furlong sprint, will be one of five stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday’s 12-race program, which will be headlined by the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3), a prep for the March 30 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream.
Legalize, who is owned by Twin Brook Stables, Belladonna Racing LLC, Nice Guys Stables, West Point Thoroughbreds, Iapetus Racing, S. Hornstock, Runnels Racing, Perrine Time Thoroughbreds, R T R Stables LLC, Peppermint Stables LLC and Manganaro Bloodstock, has been prepared for his 3-year-old debut by trainer Cherie DeVaux at Fair Grounds.
“There are limited opportunities right now for a sprinter in his division. We wanted to stretch him out a little bit,” DeVaux said. “It’s the next logical step in his form cycle.”
The son of Constitution graduated in front-running fashion Nov. 23 at Churchill Downs in his second career start before capturing the six-furlong Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds by 2 ½ lengths Dec. 23.
“He ran really well. He sat close to the early pace and kicked clear,” DeVaux said. “He broke his maiden on the lead, so that showed that he can win and not be right on the pace.”
Legalized, who was purchased for $500,000 at the 2022 OBS October sale, may or may not be stretched out around two turns in the future.
“Physically, he’s a slight horse, so we’ll just have to see,” DeVaux said. “If he runs well and acts like he can handle more distance, that’s the next logical step to take.”
Luis Saez has the return call on Legalize.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Three Chimneys Farm’s Risk It also ventures from Fair Grounds for a start in the Swale after finishing fifth in the 1 1/16-mile Gun Runner Dec. 23. The Steve Asmussen-trained son of Gun Runner, who finished fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs, cuts back to one turn for the Swale.
Risk It launched his career with a 4 ½-length victory at six-furlongs at Saratoga before finishing second in the one-turn mile Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs. Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard Risk It for his first three starts, returns for the Swale.
Kaleem Shah Inc.’s Billal will also return to one turn in the Swale following a tiring eighth in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct. Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the son of Street Sense broke his maiden in his second career start at seven- furlongs before finishing third in the one-turn mile Nashua at Aqueduct. Junior Alvarado has the return call.
CTR Stables LLC and Lady Sheila Stable’s Colorado Cruiser is scheduled to make his first start for trainer Jack Sisterson in the Swale. The son of Catalina Cruiser has started four times in Southern California, where he broke his maiden at six furlongs last time out at Santa Anita Dec. 26. Oisin Murphy will ride Colorado Cruiser for the first time.
Granpollo Stable’s Gran Mo the First is scheduled to make his first start on dirt in the Swale. The Victor Barboza Jr.-trained son of Uncle Mo won his first two starts at Gulfstream on Tapeta before finishing third in the Zuma Beach (G3) on turf at Santa Anita Oct. 8. Paco Lopez will ride Gran Mo the First for the first time Saturday.
Screen Door Stables LLC’s Squints, who won the Nov. 12 Juvenile for Florida-breds last time out; Vicente Stella Stables LLC’s Le Dom Bro, who finished off the board last time out in the Remsen; and D and O Stables LLC’s Frankie’s Empire, a winner of three of six career starts, round out a field shorted to eight following the announced withdrawal of Bentornato.