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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – LNJ Foxwoods and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Annex paid off his many backers who made him the 6/5 favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Annex was away well from post 2 under Junior Alvarado as the top choice in the field of eight 3-year-olds and settled off the pace into a ground-saving position heading into the clubhouse turn. Arzak outkicked the rail-breaking Hot Blooded for the lead and the pair put great distance on the rest of the pack while posting opening fractions of :22.38, :44.80, and 1:09.19.
The lengthy advantages that the top pair held early disappeared at the top of the stretch, and Arzak soon lugged out as he hit an invisible wall and weakened steadily. Hot Blooded briefly inherited the lead, but four rivals led by the outermost Annex soon swallowed him.
Scarlett Sky fought valiantly along the inside, but Annex’s talent overcame his lack of experience in the late stages. The Bill Mott trainee won the 1 1/16-mile firm turf route by a head in 1:40.62 for his second score from as many starts.
Chess’s Dream rallied late for third over Fighting Force, who nipped Sigiloso by a neck for fourth.
Cave Hill, Hot Blooded, and a distanced Arzak completed the order of finish.
Annex’s win followed a sharp debut score going a mile over this course in mid-January. The Constitution colt has now earned $84,140.
Annex returned $4.60 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.20 to show. Scarlett Sky brought back $3.40 to place and $2.40 to show. Chess’s Dream paid $3.20 to show.
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