HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Paradise Farms Corp.’s Bemma’s Boy surged late and proved to be the best of the bunch in Saturday’s $200,000 Kitten’s Joy Pan American Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 2 under Florent Geroux at 9/1 odds, Bemma’s Boy raced just off of the pace while covered up behind the front-runners. Just ahead of him, Spooky Channel and Current battled through early fractions of :24.09, :48.56, 1:13.64, and 1:38.63 through the opening mile.
The 3/5 heavy favorite Zulu Alpha joined the front-end fray near the top of the stretch while running three-wide and looked like he might take off in the stretch, but Current battled back gamely on the inside. While those two fought noses apart, Geroux tipped Bemma’s Boy out to the far outside and commenced a late rally.
Surging past Zulu Alpha and Current inside the 1/16 pole, Bemma’s Boy crossed a neck clear in a three-way photo finish. The Mike Maker trainee completed the 1 1/2-mile event over the firm turf course in 2:24.91.
Zulu Alpha, another Maker entry, headed Current for second, while Channel Cat was 1 1/4 lengths behind them in fourth. Spooky Channel faded to fifth, while the third Maker runner, Go Poke the Bear, nosed out Focus Group for sixth.
Galleon Mast and Manicomio completed the order of finish. Prince of Arabia was scratched.
Bemma’s Boy’s win was his first since winning a 1 1/2-mile turf allowance event at Keeneland last October and improved his record to 18-5-1-2. The 5-year-old gelded son of Into Mischief, claimed for $30,000 last May, has now earned $291,983.
Bemma’s Boy returned $20.40 to win, $6.60 to place, and $5 to show. Zulu Alpha brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Channel Cat paid $10.40 to show. The $1 stable exacta paid $24.20.