02/22/2002 12:00AM

Orchard Park scores

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - No trainer-jockey team in the last decade at Gulfstream Park has been more successful than Bill Mott and Jerry Bailey. On Friday, the Hall of Fame pair struck again when Orchard Park rallied to win the 16th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes.

Orchard Park, the solid favorite in a field of 12 3-year-olds, triumphed by 1 3/4 lengths over 20-1 shot Lord Juban and returned $4.60 to win. It was another

1 1/4 lengths back to Red's Top Gun in third, and another half-length to Union Place in fourth.

Despite breaking from the far outside in the 1 1/8-mile turf race, Bailey always had Orchard Park in a comfortable position. A Florida-bred Hennessy colt owned by Peter Vegso, Orchard Park raced in midpack to the far turn, then crept closer until taking over in midstretch. He finished in 1:49.80 over a firm course.

"He broke sharp and I was able to get good position in the three path, then the two path," Bailey said. "Once he got into his rhythm on the final turn he showed why he was the best."

Orchard Park lost his first four starts but now has won three in a row, all on grass. "This is a thrill," said Vegso. "When you have the Mott-Bailey team you're in pretty good shape."

Mott, who was not present, has been the leading trainer at Gulfstream in eight of the last 10 years. Bailey is the top stakes-winning rider in track history.