09/26/2016 2:36PM

Nicks taking a shot in In Reality, My Dear Girl

Email
Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
Three Rules will be a heavy favorite Saturday in the In Reality Stakes.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – There won’t be many horses lining up alongside Three Rules for Saturday’s $500,000 In Reality Stakes at Gulfstream. But one 2-year-old expected to be there for the finale of the Florida Sire Stakes series will be Illmatic, who is short on experience but long on potential, according to trainer Ralph Nicks.

Illmatic, a son of Kantharos, will enter the 1 1/16-mile In Reality as a maiden, having finished second in his only start, which came going seven furlongs here Sept. 11.

:: Like this article? Get access to all premium articles, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.

“He ran real green in his first start,” said Nicks, who trains Illmatic for Bell Racing LLC. “I think he’ll go long, and he’s eligible to run in what will probably be a short field for a lot of money. And I’m thinking what everyone else is thinking who goes in this race: You just don’t know who is going to go long – even the big horse. At this stage, you really don’t know.”

Nicks will also take a shot against the undefeated three-time stakes winner Cajun Delta Dawn in Saturday’s $500,000 My Dear Girl with Dude Fantasy, who captured her only start by 1 1/2 lengths going six furlongs on Sept. 2.

“It’s pretty much the same thinking with her – a short field for big money.” said Nicks. “She won her first start very professionally. She’s not real big, but she has a big, long stride, she’s very smart, and I think she’ll get two turns. I was second in the same race last year with Enterprising Lady, and I think this filly is every bit as talented as that one was at this stage, but even a bit more professional.” Entries for both the In Reality and My Dear Girl, along with the rest of Saturday’s 13-race program, will be drawn Wednesday.