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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Maraud Runs Down Speed Franco in Palm Beach


Top Two Much the Best

By Dick Downey

Although the Palm Beach Stakes wasn't won by the favorite, the finish was formful as Maraud edged pacesetter Speed Franco by a neck.

Speed Franco and Emisael Jaramillo, favored at 8-5, took the lead as expected and ran through honest-but-not-too-fast fractions of 23.89, 48.56 and 1:12.60 with Maraud, the 5-2 second choice ridden by John Velazquez, trailing by 1 1/2 length. The race seemed set up for Speed Franco to take them home at that point, but Maraud was determined and forged to the lead near the wire. The time was 1:41.01 for 1 1/16 mile on turf.

Therapist, the 9-2 fourth choice, was third or fourth at each call and finished third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Hawkish, the 3-1 third choice, made a bold move in the far turn to threaten the leaders, but he flattened out in the stretch for fourth. Following him were Neepawa, Renaisance Frolic and Eye of a Jedi.

Todd Pletcher trains the winner for Treadway Racing Stable. The colt by Blame was bred in Kentucky by John R. Penn and Frank Penn. Maraud is nominated to the Triple Crown but doesn't appear headed for the Triple Crown Trail.

Equibase chart


 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 (Cutler Bay Stakes), or I might wait until Keeneland. We’ll see how he comes out of it.”

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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