04/04/2013 3:18PM

Aqueduct: Bay Shore distance snug fit for Clearly Now, Honorable Dillon


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Maybe later, Clearly Now and Honorable Dillon will show prowess in route races. For now, though, both seem better suited to seven furlongs, which creates an intriguing matchup in Saturday’s Grade 3, $250,000 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct.

Clearly Now, winner of the Grade 3 Swale on March 2 at Gulfstream, and Honorable Dillon, winner of the Grade 2 Hutcheson on Feb. 2 at Gulfstream, square off in the seven-furlong Bay Shore on the Wood Memorial undercard.

Clearly Now, a son of Horse Greeley, is 3 for 3 in sprint races. He is 0 for 2 around two turns, including a distant third-place finish behind Itsmyluckday in the Grade 3 Holy Bull on Jan. 26.

“I think he’s starting to get it,” trainer Bryan Lynch said. “I think he has a lot of natural ability. He’s still a little bit slow on changing leads.”

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Lynch said in the Holy Bull, at 1 1/16 miles, Clearly Now got bumped “and all of a sudden he wanted to pull hard. In his second race, he sort of settled and took some dirt and showed us a bit what we’ve been trying to do in the morning, which is to settle and be effective the last part.”

Clearly Now will break from post 8 under Javier Castellano.

Honorable Dillon, a son of 2004 Wood Memorial winner Tapit, won the Grade 2 Hutcheson at Gulfstream. He attempted to stretch out to 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, but was not factor finishing seventh, beaten 19 lengths.

“The race in Tampa didn’t work out for whatever reason,” trainer Eddie Kenneally said. “It was a big effort in the Hutcheson because you could say he was part of that 44-and-change half-mile. He was only two lengths off it. He ran hard early but he kept running to the wire, He gutted it out. He’s a pretty determined little horse. If he runs anywhere near that on Saturday, we’ll be happy.”

Joel Rosario will ride Honorable Dillon for the first time from post 6.

Salutos Amigos is another who cuts back to a sprint after finishing fifth in the San Felipe last time out. On Feb. 9, he won a six-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita in 1:08.56.

Trainer Nick Zito may have a nice 3-year-old sprinter in his barn in Declan’s Warrior. He closed well to dead-heat for win with Narvaez in a first-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park on March 9. Narvaez finished a respectable fourth in the Florida Derby.

“I think he’s an up-and-coming 3-year-old. I didn’t want to stretch him out immediately,” Zito said. “Seven-eighths might be good for him.”

Maleeh was sharp in winning the Fred “Cappy” Capossela by nearly three lengths March 9. He should get a similar setup as he did in the Capossela when there was a contested pace.

Clawback, who finished third as the favorite in the Capossela, is back but must deal with the rail and the presence of Salutos Amigos.

Retreive, who was favored in the Jan. 1 race in which Verrazano won his debut; Silver Morgan, fourth in the Capossela, and The Truth and K G, winner of a two-turn allowance race, complete the field.