G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s homebred El Crespo took over at the top of the lane and powered to a one length victory in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) March 14 on the Gulfstream Park turf.
Ridden patiently by Javier Castellano, El Crespo received a nice, stalking trip in back of 9-5 favorite Duke of Homberg, who opened up a big lead through the backstretch while posting splits of :25.65, :48.96 and 1:11.62 under Chris DeCarlo. El Crespo crept closer to the leader as the approached the final turn and easily took over once they straightened away. He hit the wire comfortably in front in a final time of 1:47.11 for 1 1/8 miles on the firm turf.
A son of A.P. Indy, out of the Private Account mare Commodities, El Crespo was returning to the grass after finishing a disappointing ninth in the Holy Bull (gr. III) Jan. 31 on the Gulfstream dirt. The 3-year-old colt broke his maiden in his third try three weeks earlier on turf. Rusty Arnold trains the dark bay.
Bred in Kentucky, El Crespo is now 2-1-0 from five starts with earnings of $119,440.
The winner paid $10, $5 and $4.20. The exacta (7-4) returned $34.20.