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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Leonard Green’s A Thread of Blue had to work hard to do so, but he kept his red-hot Gulfstream Park streak alive after capturing Saturday’s Palm Beach Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 5 as the 1/2 favorite under Luis Saez, A Thread of Blue settled into the catbird seat just behind early leaders Hard Belle and King Ottokar through opening fractions of :23.78 and :47.99. Midway down the backstretch, A Thread of Blue ranged up alongside the pacesetting pair and raced three-wide into the far turn. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee kept advacing through the turn and hit the top of the stretch with the lead, but Casa Creed soon posed a threat on the outside. Battling hard inside the final furlong, A Thread of Blue dug in gamely and repelled Casa Creed late before crossing with a 3/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:41.93 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the firm turf course.
“I was only nervous at the 1/8 pole when (Casa Creed) came up next to us, but Luis said he had a lot of horse the whole way and he ran great,” McLaughlin said.
A late rally from the rear wasn’t strong enough to get Louder Than Bombs up in time, as he settled for third, 1 length behind Casa Creed. Art G Is Back lost the show placing late and settled for fourth ahead of a weakend King Ottokar, while far behind them, Stirling Drive, Castlewood Terrace, and an empty Hard Belle completed the order of finish.
A Thread of Blue’s win was his third straight in as many tries over the Gulfstream Park lawn and improved his overall record to 7-4-1-1. With a graded stakes score now under his belt, McLaughlin indicated that the 3-year-old son of Hard Spun will point to the American Turf Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, part of the Kentucky Derby undercard on May 4.
“It was great to be able to lay third, second, third, and then move when he wanted to move,” McLaughlin said. “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.”
A Thread of Blue returned $3 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Casa Creed brought back $4.80 to place and $2.80 to show, while Louder Than Bombs paid $2.20 to show.
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