Video: Swale S. (G2)
In the seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds over the fast track, Derek's Smile advanced for the early lead in the six-horse field with Sonic Mule and Vanish racing a length behind, while Three Rules, Impressive Edge, and Favorable Outcome chased. After Derek's Smile led the first quarter in :23.02, Vanish moved up along the rail and Sonic Mule took the lead, as a half went in :45.88.
As the field bunched together through the turn, only separated by three lengths, 4-5 favorite Three Rules and 2-1 second choice Favorable Outcome both went wide around the fading frontrunners. Into the stretch, Three Rules got a half-length in front of Sonic Mule, but did not have enough to hold off a flying Favorable Outcome on his outside. Under jockey Javier Castellano, Favorite Outcome crossed the wire first by three-quarters of a length in 1:23.03 for trainer Chad Brown. Sonic Mule finished 2 3/4 lengths back in third.
Favorable Outcome returned $6.20, $3, and $2.10 across the board. Three Rules paid $2.60 and $2.10, while Sonic Mule returned $2.10.
"He broke well out of the gate, and I took my time and they went pretty quick early," Castellano said. "I had to come around wide on the outside a little bit, but I think that was the key to win the race.
"We had a lot of patience in the beginning and it paid off in the end. I felt like I had plenty of horse. I didn't use him early in the race and I knew when I asked he'd respond, and he did. I think he'll take another step forward. He's a young horse, a nice horse, and still developing."
After his first graded stakes victory, the 3-year-old son of Flatter now has two wins from four starts. He broke his maiden in an impressive six-length score at Saratoga Race Course in August before running third in the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in October. He last raced on a difference surface, finishing off the board in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T).
"I just freshened him up after the Breeders' Cup," Brown said. "I really didn't have a plan up until a month ago. I told the owners, 'Look, let me just start breezing him.' Obviously, we planned on keeping him sprinting and on dirt. About three weeks ago, I just started breezing him and he was much fitter than I thought. I looked at the (Swale) and I figured let's run him in here. And if he wins, that would be great, knowing that he is not even a 100% fit. It should set up well for him and we can build on it. He ran terrific. He should get a lot out of it.
"I thought at the sixteenth pole he might feel the shortage of works there, but he showed a lot of heart today and he showed he is a really talented horse. I thought Javier judged his ride just right. It's going to be a campaign of just one-turn dirt races this whole year. There's a lot of good races for 3-year-olds in that category."
Bred by Charles Matses in Kentucky, Favorable Outcome was purchased by Klaravich Stables for $300,000 out of Tom McCrocklin's consignment at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March 2-year-old sale. The chestnut colt is out of the stakes winning Eltish mare Shananies Song.