Sarah and Kenneth Ramsey's homebred Kitten's Joy showed off his powerful closing kick to win The $100,000 Palm Beach (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Gulfstream Park Saturday and remain unbeaten in four starts on the grass.
Ridden by Jerry Bailey, the chestnut colt by El Prado
, in his first start on the Gulfsteam sod, kicked away from Pa Pa Da in close to home and won by 1 3/4 lengths over 37-1 closer Prince Arch, who edged Pa Pa Da by a neck. Master William, part of a Ramsey-owned entry that was sent off at odds of 3-5, was fourth in the field of 12. The time on the firm turf was 1:48 3/5 for the 1 1/8-mile test.
Since trainer Dale Romans switched Kitten's Joy to the turf in October, the Kentucky-bred colt has been unbeatable. He was coming off a 4 1/2-length victory in the Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course Jan. 1.
Breaking from the rail Saturday, Kitten's Joy moved out a bit on the backstretch while tracking the leaders in good position for the opening six furlongs, saved ground into the stretch run and unleashed a strong rally tow in going away.
Prince Arch was ninth entering the stretch under Brice Blanc while seven wide on the final turn and finished strongly to just get up for second. Pa Pa Da, with Eibar Coa aboard, surged to the front in mid-stretch and held on until yielding in the late stages.
The early pace was set by Gold Shield and Jorge Chavez, who went :24 25, :49 4/5 and 1:13 3/5 before fading to 11th.
Produced from the Lear Fan
mare Kitten's First, Kitten's Joy lost his first two starts on dirt, including a second-place showing in a maiden allowance, before ripping off his four-race win streak. He earned $60,000 to push his career bankroll to $200,115.
He paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.20. Prince Arch returned $13.40 and $6.80. Pa Pa Da's show was $5.40. The $2 exacta was worth $51.80.
Commendation finished fifth, followed by Mustanfar, Pincay, Soverign Honor, Gin Rummy Champ, America America, Gold Shield and West Virginia.
Tap Day, Paper Man, Inducement and Tales of Glory scratched.