09/05/2016 3:36PM

Best might be yet to come for Three Rules

Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
Three Rules runs his record to 4 for 4 with this victory in the Affirmed on Saturday.

Three Rules didn’t break the clock this time, but his win Saturday at Gulfstream in the $300,000 Affirmed division of the Florida Sire Stakes was dominant, and if Three Rules holds his form, he is in for an even richer payday Oct. 1 in the $500,000 In Reality division of the Florida Sire Stakes.

Trainer Jose Pinchin said Sunday that Three Rules had exited his 5 1/2-length Affirmed win in good condition, and he revealed that for the second time in a row, Three Rules did not have a smooth preparation for his race. Not long before his win on Aug. 6 in the Dr. Fager division of the Florida Sire Stakes, Three Rules developed an abscess and missed training, and this time, the colt by Gone Astray “spiked a little temperature eight or nine days ago,” according to Pinchin.

“Something was going through the barn,” Pinchin said. “For three or four days, he was off the track.”

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Still, Three Rules is unbeaten and untested in his four starts.

Three Rules got a 94 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Dr. Fager but was assigned just a 74 for Saturday’s win, which came over a track surface that was upgraded midcard from wet-fast and sealed to fast. Three Rules dueled with two horses on a quick pace and kept on solidly even as his front-end rivals were left gasping.

“I think he ran well,” said Pinchin. “He probably did get a little tired, and when he went to the lead that early, he got a little lazy. I might have been a little too easy on him between races.”

Three Rules is likely to have one workout before the In Reality, Pinchin said.

Pinchin thinks that owner Bert Pilcher, for now, at least, will wind up keeping Three Rules rather than selling him.

“I know they’ve gotten good offers, but I think they’re going to stay the course,” Pinchin said.