Peter Vegso's homebred Go Between, guided through a hole along the rail by Edgar Prado, outlasted a determined Up an Octave to win a neck decision in the $100,000 Palm Beach Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds on the Gulfstream Park turf Sunday.
The Bill Mott-trained son of Point Given
-Mediation (Caerleon) was facing winners for the first time, having just broken his maiden convincingly going a mile over the course Feb. 17. Go Between slipped past the pacesetter Mr. Silver and Diabolical, who had taken over the lead in upper stretch, to get first run on the 13-10 favorite Up an Octave, who was closing while four wide coming off the turn for John Velazquez.
The pair charged for the wire with Up an Octave slowly gaining, but Go Between prevailed by a neck while while fully extended by Prado. The fast-closing Devil's Preacher took third, three quarters of a length behind, with Rafael Bejarano aboard. The winning time was 1:45 4/5.
"That hole opened up, and he got right through it and kicked on very strongly," Prado said. "Bill did a super job getting him ready. He had just four starts and has potential. I was very happy with his performance today."
Go Between stalked the pace along the inside as Mr. Silver, breaking from the outside in the field of seven, staked easy fractions of :24, :48 and 1:11 3/5 while pressed by Diabolical. The chestnut colt Go Between edged up along the inside on the far turn and responded to Prado when the opportunity arose in upper stretch to gain a one-length lead with a furlong to go.
Go Between lost the first three races of his career in strong efforts last year before finishing a distant third, beaten 17 1/4 lengths, as the favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Pilgrim at Belmont, which was taken off the turf. He returned last time to break his maiden by two lengths. Go Between's second win in five starts was worth $60,000 and pushed his bankroll to $100,858.
The fourth choice, Go Between paid $12, $4.20, and $3. Up an Octave returned $3 and $2.40. The maiden Devil's Preacher was $5.20 to show.
Diabolical finished fourth, followed by Mr. Silver, Lord of Midnight, and Music From Heaven. Lewis Michael scratched.