Leonard C. Green's Dania Beach winner A Thread of Blue gamely held off Kitten's Joy winner Casa Creed down the stretch to win the $150,000 Palm Beach (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.
The Palm Beach was one of nine graded-stakes contested on Gulfstream's program highlighted by the $400,000 Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth (G2).
A 3-year-old son of Hard Spun trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Luis Saez, A Thread of Blue covered a firm 1 1/16-mile turf course in 1:41.93 while winning by three-quarters of a length. It was the 3-year-old colt's third consecutive victory and fourth in her last five starts. Casa Creed was a length in front of Louder Than Bombs in third.
A Thread of Blue, who has won three out of five turf starts, was rated third by Saez behind fractions of :23.78 and :47.99 set by King Ottokar and 99-1 longshot Hard Belle while Casa Creed raced fourth under jockey John Velazquez.
Approaching the final turn, Saez moved A Thread of Blue alongside King Ottokar and took the lead while holding off Casa Creed the length of the stretch.
“It was great to be able to lay third, second, third and then move when he wanted to move,” said McLaughlin of A Thread of Blue, who sold for $430,000 at the 2018 March Ocala Breeders' Sale of 2-year-olds in training. “He's a really nice horse and does everything right. He obviously loves it in Florida, winning three in a row here and we'll probably give him a little more time in between races this next time and we'll look at Derby day.
“I was only nervous at the eighth pole when Johnny came up next to us, but Luis said he had a lot of horse the whole way and he ran great. Like I said we'll freshen him a little bit and try to give him sixty days till his next start. I definitely think he can stretch out to a mile and a quarter, should be no problem. The mile and half might be a little far for him, but certainly we'll try a mile and a quarter.”
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