03/19/2016 2:35PM

Ballet Diva prevails in Any Limit Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ballet Diva and jockey Jose Caraballo win the Any Limit Stakes by one length Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Ballet Diva, a three-time stakes winner at age 2, got her first victory as a 3-year-old when leading throughout to register a one-length decision over Put Da Blame On Me in Saturday’s $75,000 Any Limit at Gulfstream Park. Caren, the 6-5 favorite, finished sixth and last.

Ballet Diva broke alertly and was sent right to the lead, as expected, by jockey Jose Caraballo. Ballet Diva rated kindly through early splits of 22.50 and 45.53 seconds, then dug in gamely along the inside to hold safe a stretch-long bid from Put Da Blame On Me. The latter, making her first start since November, broke a step slowly, quickly rushed into contention from between horses, but could not get to the winner while taking a somewhat erratic path through the final furlong.

Colombian Queen finished another six lengths back in third.

Caren, making her first start on dirt after winning five races over the Polytrack at Woodbine at 2, was only a brief factor, finishing far back while suffering just her second loss in seven career starts.

Ballet Diva covered six furlongs in 1:11.56 and paid $4.60.

“It kind of went as we had hoped; it doesn’t always go that way,” said Stanley Gold, who trains the homebred Ballet Diva for Jacks or Better Farm. “We knew she was going to show speed, and she made the lead. She made it, she got challenged, and she was best today. She’s been running good, but this wasn’t a graded stakes, and the company was a little softer.”