08/06/2016 4:44PM

Three Rules dominates Dr. Fager Stakes

Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Three Rules and jockey Cornelio Velasquez win the Dr. Fager Stakes by seven lengths Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The juvenile colt Three Rules turned in a scintillating performance in the $200,000 Dr. Fager Stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, widening his lead down the stretch under minimal urging from jockey Cornelio Velasquez to win by seven lengths.

His final time of 1:09.49 for six furlongs on a fast track easily bested Dream of Me’s winning time of 1:10.30 in the Unbridled Stakes for 3-year-olds earlier on the card.

Three Rules ($3.20), a son of Gone Astray, is perfect in three career starts, all at this track for trainer Jose Pinchin. He won a $52,000 maiden special weight race by 3 1/2 lengths on June 10 and took the $75,000 Birdonthewire Stakes against open company by five lengths July 2. He’s earned $200,640. Three Rules is owned by Hubert Pilcher’s Reddick, Fla.-based Shade Tree Thoroughbreds Inc., which bred him in partnership with Geoff Roy.

Pilcher said he recently turned down an offer to sell Three Rules.

“I was standing in the office with the paperwork,” he said. “I went to give the girl the papers, and I said, ‘This horse is not going to bring what he’s worth. He’s going to bring a lot of money, but not what he’s worth.’ ”

The Dr. Fager Stakes was the first leg of the Florida Sire series of juvenile stakes for horses sired by nominated stallions standing in Florida. Pilcher said Three Rules will be pointed to the second leg of the three-race series, the $300,000 Affirmed Stakes at seven furlongs here Sept. 3.

“He hasn’t really run yet,” Pilcher said. “Every race, halfway down the stretch, Cornelio starts gathering him up.”

“This is a nice horse,” Pinchin said. “He was born special. From the moment I had him, he was a special-looking foal, and he grew into a special yearling. He does everything right, and nothing bothers him.”

Three Rules raced in second place early, tracking Awesome Standard through a quarter-mile in 22.25 seconds before taking the lead and covering a half-mile in 45.16.

Blessed Halo, a 60-1 longshot ridden by Miguel Vasquez for trainer Juan Rodriguez, finished second, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of third-place Front Loaded. Blessed Halo tried to rally into contention around the turn, but at the head of the lane, Three Rules quickly spurted away to remove all doubt about the outcome.

“The way he handled three-quarters, he’ll have no trouble with seven-eighths,” Velasquez said.