Orchard Park overcame an outside post and a wide trip to win Friday's $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park. Under Jerry Bailey, the Bill Mott-trained 3-year-old completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.80 on firm turf.
Orchard Park made a four-wide bid on the second turn, then drew off in deep stretch to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Lord Juban. Red's Top Gun was next, followed by Union Place, Peekskill, Worldly Victor, Charming Colony, Ricky N Chip, Cross Calibrate, Nice Boy, Ranson the Royalty, and Emergency Status.
Orchard Park first found the winner's circle following his fifth career race, and the son of Hennessey is undefeated in two races since then, with the Palm Beach marking his first stakes start. The Peter Vesgo homebred failed to reach his reserve price at three different auctions, including a $275,000 bid at the 2000 Keeneland September yearling sale. Orchard Park earned $60,000 for the win, his third in seven starts.
The 13-10 favorite returned $4.60, $3.80, and $3 for the win and topped a $58.80 exacta. Longshot Lord Juban paid $11.40 and $6. Red's Top Gun was worth $7.20 to show. (Chart, Equibase