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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Stonestreet Stables’ homebred Dream Pauline ran as sweet as can be on Saturday, holding off a very game Stormy Embrace on that foe’s home course to win the Grade 3, $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 7 under Javier Castellano as the 8/5 favorite, Dream Pauline raced three- and four-wide down the backstretch in mid-pack while Surprise Wedding posted opening fractions of :22.73 and :46.26. Drawing alongside the pacesetter with ease through the far turn, Dream Pauline emerged onto the top of the stretch with a slight advantage and began to kick away. Stormy Embrace, however, refused to give up and launched a four-wide bid off the turn. Charging hard down the lane, Stormy Embrace’s surge proved just a hair shy of being effective, as it was the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Dream Pauline who hit the wire first by a neck in a final time of 1:11.10 for the 6-furlong sprint over the sloppy (sealed) main track.
“I like the way she did it today,” Castellano said. “You don’t know when it rains like this and how they’ll respond to the track, but she did it really well today. She broke sharp out of the gate and put me in a good spot all the way in the race. I was able to control the race and I liked the way she finished. She looked around a little bit in the last 1/16, but she was engaged when she saw the other horses outside and I think it was a great performance today.”
Pacific Gale battled hard through much of the race and ultimately gained third by a nose and a neck over Bronx Beauty and Awestruck, respectively. Surprise Wedding yielded in the stretch run and took sixth, while Proper Discretion and Money Or Love completed the order of finish after never threatening.
Dream Pauline’s win was her second of the year in only her third 2018 start and improved her record to 4-3-0-1 with earnings of $153,963. The 3-year-old daughter of Tapit broke her maiden last December but then missed eight months due to minor issues along the way.
“We decided to give her a little time off, little issues, but she’s just been a little bit unlucky not to run a little more often,” McLaughlin said. “She got sick right before the (Grade 2) Prioress (Stakes), and she’s been unlucky, but today, we were lucky, and it paid us back.
Dream Pauline returned $5.40 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.80 to show. Stormy Embrace brought back $4.20 to place and $3.20 to show, while Pacific Gale paid $5.60 to show.
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