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Maraud the Best in Palm Beach

Mar 3, 2018
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Treadway Racing Stable’s Maraud, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, drove past pacesetter and Dania Beach (G3) winner Speed Franco inside the final 70 yards to win Saturday’s $100,000 Palm Beach (G3) by a neck. Previously unbeaten Therapist, winner of the Awad at Belmont in October, finished third a half-length behind.

Maraud, a 3-year-old son of Blame, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.01.

Speed Franco, who came from off the pace to win the Dania Beach, went to the front Saturday under jockey Emisael Jaramillo and was tracked by Maraud from second past fractions of :23.89, :48.56 and 1:12.60. Around the final turn, Hawkish, an impressive winner of his debut Jan. 8, made a three-wide move toward the leaders as Speed Franco and Maraud gamely drove down the stretch before Maraud took the lead. Hawkish finished fourth.

Pletcher called it a “good, determined run” by Maraud, who was third in the Pulpit at Gulfstream Dec. 9 before winning an entry-level allowance Jan. 13. Pletcher also saddled 2014 Palm Beach winner Gala Award.

Trainer Todd Pletcher: “[Speed Franco] ran down Gidu last time {in the Grade 3 Dania Beach}, and we think a lot of him, so it was a quality effort.”

“I’m not sure what’s next. There’s the race on Florida Derby Day ($125,000 Cutler Bay), or I might wait until Keeneland. We’ll see how he comes out of it.” 

Jockey John Velazquez: “There was not too much speed in the race and after speaking with Todd, he said if it doesn’t look like there’s too much speed, let me use my horse for the first part. On the lead he was really tough. He didn’t run as close to the lead, so when I asked him at the quarter pole, he ran away with me a little.”

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