It was exciting weekend at Gulfstream Park with nine stakes races on the card on the turf and on the dirt.
$150,000 Palm Beach Stakes
Holding his mount back, Luis Saez stalked the pacesetters until the last turn when he moved A THREAD OF BLUE up alongside KING OTTOKAR. Taking the lead on firm turf, the HARD SPUN colt held off CASA CREED to take the win over 1 1/16th mile course in 1:41.93 winning by three quarters of a length. CASA CREED took second by a length over LOUDER THAN BOMBS.
This was the colt's third win out of five turf spots. The win has his connections looking at the American Turf (G2) on Derby Day at Churchill Downs.
$100,000 Canadian Turf Stakes
The Canadian Turf Stakes is a mile-long contest for older horses. Rating behind the pacesetter SIEM RIEP, who set easy fractions of :24.55 and :48.65, KRAMPUS held back in second for the first half mile. As the pacesetter tired, jockey Velazquez made his move with some pressure on the outside from BREAKING THE RULES, the 3-5 favorite. However, he was unable to catch him despite a stretch long bid and KRAMPUS took his first stakes race win of his career in a photo finish. HOLIDAY STONE finished third.
$100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint
While the break was a bit slow on the rail from RECRUITING READY, the colt settled in at third behind the 99-1 longshot, MY CHINAMUNDO. The pacesetter set a fast quarter-mile in :22.56 pressed by QUIXOTE. QUIXOTE kept RECRUITING READY boxed in, but at the stretch Saez was able to pressure him and pull away for the win. QUIXOTE finished second with SWEETONTHELADIES coming in third.
$150,000 The Very One
A 1 3/16th mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares saw Stronach Stables' HOLY HELENA maintain her title on the firm turf at Gulfstrream. The mare saved ground as she rated behind ICKYMASHO, who set fractions of :23.89 and :49.31. Still running ahead of her rivals in the homestretch, HOLY HELENA cut the corner and kicked on past the front runner, who was still trying to hold at. The mare finished a neck ahead of ICKYMASHO and four lengths ahead of SEMPER SENENTIAE, who finished third.
Rating second behind BELLE LAURA, CAMBIER PARC took a short lead on the turf after six furlongs. She put BELLE LAURA away at the eighth pole with PRINCESS CAROLINA rushed her on the outside. But it was all CAMBIER PARC for the win giving everything asked of her. The mare also gave Jose Ortiz and Chad Brown their second straight Herecomesthebride win. This was the first stakes win for the filly. PRINCESS CAROLINA finished second with BELLE LAURA behind her in third.
$150,000 Honey Fox Stakes
A mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares was a key win for PRECIEUSE NOTCHES. The mare rallied through the stretch to capture first in her first US win. The mare saved a lot of ground holding out behind the red-hot LA SIGNARE, who set fractions of :23.51 and :46.51. Easing off the rail, Castellano sent her off between horses in the backstretch. VALEDICTORIAN had held second behind the pacesetter picked up the pace as they turned for the homestretch. She took over for the tired LA SIGNARE but was unable to catch PRECIEUSE NOTCHES. VALEDICTORIAN finished second with BELLEVAIS closing in third.
$200,000 Davona Dale Stakes
The longshot upset JAYWALK's plans in the Davona Dale Stakes. JELTRIN, with odds of 51-1, ended the champion filly's four race winning streak, beating her by 5 1/2 lengths. Regardless, JAYWALK is still on course for the May 3rd Kentucky Oaks and will either run in the Gulfstream Park Oaks at Gulfstream or the Central Bank Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.
JAYWALK broke well from the rail outside of COOKIE DOUGH but faded in the stretch. The start was the first in four months for the filly. JELTRIN responded well and was right there when asked by jockey Luis Saez. COOKIE DOUGH finished second with CHAMPAGNE ANYONE finishing third.
$200,000 Mac Diarmida
ZULU ALPHA was favored at even money in the field of 11 for the Mac Diarmida. The race, for older turf horses saw VILLAGE KING set fractions of :24.93 and :51.05 at an unhurried pace. He remained in front for six furlongs but began to diminish and opened up the opportunity for ZULU ALPHA to swing wide and take over with a clear run mid-stretch. VILLAGE KING finished second with KULIN ROCK in third.
ZULU ALPHA was an $80,000 claim last fall at Churchill Downs. Since he has started for his new connections, the gelding has captured several stakes races and his last win was the W.L. McKnight on Pegasus Day.
$400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes
CODE OF HONOR redeemed himself in the $400k Fountain of Youth Stakes after a rough ending to his two-year-old campaign. At odds of 9-1 on Saturday, the colt became his sire's first black type winner. BOURBON WAR finished second behind CODE OF HONOR. VEKOMA finished third, running for the first time on Lasix and a long layoff. SIGNALMAN, who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile finished seventh.
The Fountain of Youth is a Road to the Derby race and awarded points of 50-20-10-5 to the top four finishers.