09/19/2013 4:25PM

Parx: Clearly Now knocking on the door for Gallant Bob


A hard-luck loser in his last three stakes tries, Clearly Now returns from a brief freshening in Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx going six furlongs.

A field of 14 was carded for the Gallant Bob, but Distinctiv Passion was scratched by trainer Jeff Bonde and Purple Egg was expected to scratch to run in an overnight stakes at Belmont Park on Friday.

Clearly Now won the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream in March before suffering a head loss to Declan’s Warrior in the Grade 3 Bay Shore at Aqueduct and a three-quarter-length loss in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont. Trainer Brian Lynch tried him on the turf in the Charlie Barley at Woodbine, where he was again beaten a half-length while finishing third, though he was placed second due to the disqualification of the first-place finisher.

It was after the Charlie Barley that Lynch opted to give Clearly Now a break.

“I thought he ran credible, but I didn’t have a good feeling,” Lynch said. “I thought he was vulnerable coming off a big effort in the Bay Shore and a big effort in the Woody Stephens. Consequently, I decided to freshen him and point to this spot.”

Though Clearly Now is 2 for 2 at six furlongs, those races were against lesser company last year at Woodbine.

“Ideally, you’d like it to be seven [furlongs], but he’s fresh, he’s tactical, he has a good cruising speed,” Lynch said. “He could sit right off of them; there could be suicidal fractions. It might set up for a horse that could stalk.”

Clearly Now breaks from post 12 under Luis Saez.

Rainbow Heir won the first four starts of his career, including the Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth, before finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes. Mike Smith rides for Ben Perkins Jr., who won this race last year with Well Spelled.

Jerry Hollendorfer, who has runners in all three of the graded stakes Saturday at Parx, sends out Zeewat in the Gallant Bob coming off an allowance win going six furlongs at Golden Gate.

“Here’s a horse I don’t really believe is a true six-furlong horse or a true sprinter, but he’s sprinting good right now,” Hollendorfer said. “I wanted to give him a chance in that race.”

Rajiv Maragh rides Zeewat from the outside post.

A lot of the speed in this field is on the inside, with Res Judicata, Black Hornet, and Take It Like a Man.

Completing the field are Salutos Amigos, English Manor, City of Weston, Majestic Hussar, Amarish, and Heaven’s Runway.