Race Preview: Best Pal Stakes - Del Mar, August 4, 2013

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Matt Carter

August 3rd, 2013


photo: Matt Carter

The first graded stake race for the two-year-olds this summer at Del Mar is this Sunday with the 43rd running of the Grade 2 Best Pal. The six and one-half furlong race drew a field of seven and five of the seven are between 5-2 and 9-2 on the morning line.

The morning line favorite for the race is not your normal kind of favorite. Ontology has run twice and has yet to return to the winner's circle. He finished second in his debut to Alpine Luck then finished second again to that rival in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship. Blinkers are now on the son of Tapit and he looks to have been working very well in the mornings.

Alpine Luck and Skydreamin are the co-second choices on the morning line and both come into the race Sunday with two career wins. Alpine Luck is the most accomplished of the two with the Hollywood Juvenile Championship win, but Skydreamin began his career with a stakes win and then took another stakes race at Pleasanton last month. This circuit is tougher, but trainer Jeff Bonde gets the services of Hall-of-Famer Mike Smith in the irons. Gary Stevens has the call on Alpine Luck.

Guns Loaded and Alberts Hope are next on the morning line at 9-2 and both are exiting wins in their debut. Guns Loaded has something the others do not have and that is a win over the track. The son of D'Wildcat was sent off at 3.4-1 but won like he was 1-3.4. A strong four furlong work since and a good outside post. Alberts Hope is the threat from the back of the back and was a rare debut winner for trainer Mike Puype last month at Hollywood Park. Alberts Hope should continue to get better with starts and should have a good pace to run into.

Celtic Moon and the Woodbine shipper Easy Solution add more speed to the race and are the two longest shots on the board.

Interesting stakes race that could go a number of directions, be sure to get a good price and use at least five in the multi race exotics.

Post time for the Best Pal on Sunday is 8:40 pm ET.