Daredevil Looking to Hop Back on Derby Trail in Swale

A field of seven lines up in Saturday’s Grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream Park. (Photo credit: gulfstreampark.com)

Saturday’s $200,000 Swale Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park is not a Road to the Derby points race, but for even money morning line favorite Daredevil, it is a starting point to hopping back onto the Derby trail.

The Todd Pletcher trainee won his first two career starts including picking up 10 Derby points by winning the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park in the slop on Oct. 4 over Upstart.

The son of More Than Ready was sent off as the 5-2 second betting choice in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), but an outside draw and a wide trip throughout did him in, fading to finish 11th and last.

Pletcher has put in three bullet works into the colt at Palm Beach Downs and he looks ready to fire coming back off a four-month layoff, but is going to be a short price.

There is an 80% chance of thunderstorms in the area on Saturday, which should not be a concern for chalk players. The colt’s two wins were both on off going.

The colt is currently listed at 20-1 in early Kentucky Derby future wagering.

There is one other in the field of seven that is Triple Crown nominated. Souper Colossal (4-1) came out of his seventh place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by winning the Texas Glitter at Gulfstream Park going five furlongs on turf. The Edward Plesa trainee has won four of his five career starts including the one-mile Sapling at Monmouth Park last summer.

As you can see below, we are looking for a bit more value and are going with Ready for Rye, who is the 9-2 third choice on the morning line.

The Swale is supported by the $150,000 Herecomesthebride (G3), $150,000 Palm Beach (G3) and the $75,000 Silk Run.

Let’s head out to Gulfstream Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:


Gulfstream Park Race 10 The Swale Stakes (G2) Post time 5:00 ET

3 Ready for Rye   9-2

1 Daredevil   1-1

7 X Y Jet   5-1

5 Souper Colossal   4-1

Ready for Rye looks as if he may get overlooked in the betting here. The gelding is coming off a good effort in the Spectacular Bid here going six furlongs where he prompted the early pace, took over the lead in the stretch and could not hold off the winner late, beaten three lengths for the top spot as the 6-5 chalk. The winner was Barbados, who returned to win the Hutcheson (G3) in his next start on Jan. 14. The third place finisher was It’s Not Me, who came back to win the Ocala Sprint in his next outing on Jan. 27.

Two back our top pick broke his maiden in his second career start by seven lengths and the effort was flattered when three he beat that day returned to graduate in their next starts. The gelding owns solid early and mid pace numbers and just a matter of if he can avoid an early pace duel and handle the extra furlong. Javier Castellano rode this guy in all three starts but sticks with the chalk in here. He has a win over a wet track and is bred to like it, and we have a good chance of an off track today.

Daredevil makes his three-year-old debut here for the Todd Pletcher barn and this guy is using this race as a prep to get on to the Derby trail. Last year he won his first two career starts including picking up 10 Derby points winning the Champagne (G1) in the slop in his first start against winners, earning a 107 Beyer. The runner up in that race was Upstart, who won the Holy Bull (G2) and crossed the wire in front in the Fountain of Youth (G2) only to get disqualified for interference in the stretch.

The Pletcher barn is 24% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. The rail draw and the short price are the main knocks. The colt is perfect in two trips over a wet track and the forecast should not be a concern. He is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Albertus Maximus ($1.3 million).

X Y Jet set the early fractions and battle don gamely in the stretch in the Hutcheson, beaten a half-length for the top spot. The gelding was 7 ½ lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. The gelding has now landed in the place spot five times in his eight career starts.

He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and the outside draw might work to his benefit here as there is some speed to his inside. It took him five tries to break his maiden but has moved forward since landing with the Jorge Navarro barn.


WIN: Ready to Rye to win at 7-2 or better.

EXACTA: 1,3 / 1,3,5,7

TRIFECTA: 1,3 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,2,3,5,7


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