HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The Elkstone Group’s Social Paranoia employed new tactics by rallying from last to first and paying handsome dividens in Saturday’s $100,000 Appleton Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking from post 7 under Florent Geroux at 6/1 odds in his 2020 debut, Social Paranoia uncharacteristically took back and watched the pace duel develop while running last in the field of 12. Up front, Dr. Edgar, El Tormenta, and Maraud took turns leading while posting fractions of :23.55, :46.37, and 1:09.09.
Still languishing at the rear as the field rounded the far turn, Social Paranoia tipped out to the middle of the track and commenced a stretch-long rally. Flying under a vigorous hand ride past fellow Todd Pletcher trainee Sombeyay, Social Paranoia stole command inside the 1/16 pole before letting his momentum carry him clear by 1 1/4 lengths at the wire.
The final time for the mile-long event over the firm turf course was 1:32.81.
Though no match for his stablemate, Sombeyay was able to hold off the 7/2 favorite March to the Arch by a head for second. Following the conclusion of the race, Tyler Gaffalione (aboard March to the Arch) lodged an objection against the winner, alleging interference in the stretch, but his claim was dismissed and the original order remained intact.
Hembree was fourth ahead of Dr. Edgar and Maraud, who headed English Bee for sixth. Mr. Dumas, Ballagh Rocks, Louder Than Bombs, Smart Remark, and El Tormenta completed the order of finish.
First Premio, Halladay, Regally Irish, and Flavius were scratched after failing to draw in from the Also Eligibles list.
Social Paranoia’s win was his second straight, having broken the track record in the 1 5/16-mile Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs last September. The 4-year-old son of Street Boss improved his record to 12-3-4-4 with $837,760 earned.
Social Paranoia returned $14.60 to win, $7.40 to place, and $4.80 to show. Sombeyay brought back $5.40 to place and $3.80 to show, while March to the Arch paid $3.60 to show.