With esteemed past winners such as Klimt, Nyquist and Lookin at Lucky, the 2017 Best Pal Stakes will draw a lot of intrigue. It’s always fun to try and get an early beat on the next big thing, and a field of eight is set to try and steal our hearts at Del Mar this coming weekend.
The only horse with a modicum of experience is Run Away, who recently won the 2017 Santa Anita Juvenile. This Flavian Pratt ridden two-year-old is undefeated in two tries, breaking his maiden in May. Despite drawing the inside post, Run Away is going to be one of the major preferences of bettors in the 2017 Best Pal Stakes for good reason.
Though all of these colts hold a touch of the unknown, few are darker than Master Ruler who has been recently shipped in from Peurto Rico to work with trainer John Sadler. While Master Ruler has found success down south, whether or not he can hold his own against American competition is the question Sadler needs answered. “He’s done fine for me,” Sadler mentioned, “but you don’t know how to gauge the races over there. Obviously the competition isn’t as strong, but that doesn’t mean a good horse can’t come out of there.”
The Desormeaux brothers are invested in Fleetwood, who placed second in a Del Mar allowance recently. Armour Plate broke his maiden on July 1st in a miler, after finishing fourth in a five-furlong sprint in June. Bob Baffert will submit Serengeti, a consistent threat who has posted times of just over :57 in two five-furlong efforts.
Rounding out the field are Dia de Pago, An Ocala Ten and Arawak who are expected to be the longshots.
The easy money feels like it’s landing with Run Away, but you could make an argument that Armour Plate is finding his footing. Those two feel like they’re going to turn the 2017 Best Pal Stakes in to a two horse race. Serengeti is likely the only horse who could spoil that party.
Betting on juvenile horses is mainly a guessing game, but the results of this race will help shape our perception of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the upcoming three-year-old crop in 2018.
2017 Best Pal Stakes – Saturday, August 12th at Del Mar Racetrack
6 1/2 Furlongs – Two Year Olds – $200,000
|1||Run Away (KY)||Flavien Prat||123||Simon Callaghan||–|
|2||Dia de Pago (KY)||Corey S. Nakatani||118||Vladimir Cerin||–|
|3||Master Ruler (FL)||Evin A. Roman||118||John W. Sadler||–|
|4||Armour Plate (KY)||Rafael Bejarano||120||Eddie Truman||–|
|5||Serengeti (OK)||Mike E. Smith||120||Bob Baffert||–|
|6||Fleetwood (KY)||Kent J. Desormeaux||118||J. Keith Desormeaux||–|
|7||Arawak (KY)||Julio A. Garcia||123||Wesley A. Ward||–|
|8||An Ocala Ten (FL)||Victor Espinoza||118||Peter Miller||–|