Best Pal Stakes (Grade 2)- $150.000 Purse
DMR- For Two Year Olds
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
August 8, 2020
The Best Pal Stakes provides us another great opportunity this weekend, in addition to Friday’s SAR Special, to see some of the brightest young two year olds in the game right now. Last year, the winner of this race came into it off of his maiden win. That horse was none other than Brittle, who has gone on to have a terrific career by anyone’s standards. We also saw Sweet Sweat and Stark here last year. That is a tremendous lead to follow, so who knows what kind of superstars we have in this field. Right now, they are trying to make a name for themselves, and this is a good spot for that to begin happening. Let’s meet the field!
#1- Full Body Cast (Mb Stables, ridden by A Cedillo)- On the rail, this gelding by Compress heads into the race off of a third place effort in the Bashford Manor. During the race, he stayed with the lead group throughout, but did not have anything for Burning Red Hooves, the horse in which I picked to win the SAR Special. He’s had some time to rest and improve, and that may be all it takes, as he is close.
#2- Crack Danz (Gdp Inc, ridden by A T Gryder)- The gelding has won two of three races thus far, including the difficult $100.000 Victoria Stakes at WO last month. He ran a good race there as well, running towards the back early before showing good stretch kick to get up for the win. He is working quite well heading into this race too, so should be a contender and certainly one to watch in the future.
#3- Amber Waves (TwinTowersRacing, ridden by J Valdivia Jr)- He also comes out of the Victoria Stakes at WO in his last start, but did not finish as well as Crack Danz, placing fifth. Perhaps there is more to that, though, as he was way back early, and came to be within a length of Crack Danz at the end, making up two lengths on him in the stretch. With a little more distance in this one, he could be the better option.
#4- Locamotive (Aer Stables, ridden by J I Velez)- One of those horses who will wreak havoc on the autocorrect function of anyone typing his name in an article. He’s made just one start thus far, winning on the fourth of July at LS. Something that is also impressive about him is his sub-1:11 work time, something not seen elsewhere here, and not at all in the SAR Special.
#5- Insist On Time (Mb Stables, ridden by M E Smith)- Needed three starts to break his maiden, but finally got that out of the way at PRX on June after some add adjustments. He would run fourth in an allowance at WO in what is not a bad performance, but others in here have done more. He wants time, so we will give him that.
#6- Crack Armor (Mb Stables, ridden by U Rispoli)- Hopes to take home the victory, but if nothing else, he would like to win the battle of the Cracks. Each of them are sired by Safecracker. Mb paid a lot to get this one while he was unraced, spending $231.000 in private sales to do so. Had a sharp work at PRX before crossing the country.
#7- Kentucky Rifle (Barcelona Farms, ridden by Ru Fuentes)- The colt by Donegal Commander has made just one start so far, capturing his debut at LAD about six weeks ago. The stakes are increased for him quite a bit, and he has some good looking five furlong turf breezes, but a lot more is being asked for him, and we will learn how he can step up.
#8- Dawn Rider (John Henry, ridden by A Delgadillo)- He has everyone beat in both the SAR Special and the Best Pal in terms of career starts, as this is already number seven. In them, he has managed just one win, and has only hit the board twice. Was sent to the Grade 3 Sanford at SAR two weeks ago, and ran fourth, and now three weeks later, here he is again!
#9- Tko (Fractious, ridden by F Prat)- The Residue colt was sent to the Bashford Manor after breaking his maiden at WO, and came from behind to get up for fifth in that rac, which is also run at six furlongs. Just a little bit more is all he needs, so if he has improved any since then, it can be a whole new fight for him here.
#10- Glorious And Free (Estero Farms, ridden by V Espinoza)- Had a strong showing in his last race to break his maiden right here over six furlongs. Work times are a little slower then most of those he is running against here, but that doesn’t have to matter. Could be one to watch going longer when the time comes.
#11- Hunting Foxes (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by T J Pereira)- Since his first race, Hunting Foxes has been a regular in stakes company, and now gets set to make his fifth start. He has not won a stake yet, but did run second in both the $150.000 Tremont and the Grade 3 Bashford Manor, and is working quite well. His biggest obstacle will be this post, but he also started from the 11 hole in the Tremont, so he can make it work.
#12- High Crimes (Jive Inc, ridden by Mario Gutierrez)- Picked up in June in private sales from Gdp Inc for $220.000, and nine days later, he was victorious over PA breds to break his maiden. It has been about six weeks, and it seems as though he is continuing to progress, based on his works. If he can handle this test successfully, he should become a mainstay at this level.