Tko Knocks Out Field in Best Pal Stakes

Best Pal Stakes (Grade 2)- $150.000 Purse
DMR- For Two Year Olds
Six Furlongs on the Dirt
August 8, 2020

To the observer, and not to the trainer, two year old stakes are always exciting because of their unpredictability. These young horses all have plenty of potential, but they are still learning how to bring it to the race track. Some will flourish at this age, and go on to bigger things. For now, trainers can have plenty of hope that they have the game’s next big star. Perhaps they are running in a race like this right now, or maybe they are at a smaller track at the moment still trying to break their maiden. At the moment, Tko looks to be an exciting horse. He broke his maiden at WO in late May, and was decent in his graded stake debut, coming from behind to finish fifth. After six weeks, just a little improvement could be enough for him to see a much better performance, and in the Best Pal Stakes, he would step up and deliver a strong punch to the field. Fractious is the winning trainer, and F Prat is the winning jockey, each doing so for the first time. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:09.67, the slowest of the three editions of this race run at exactly six furlongs, but all that was needed. Let’s take a look!

(¼ Mile- :23.06)- No one in the field seemed to be particularly hurried out of the gate, but emerging with the lead down the backstretch would be John Henry’s Dawn Rider. After two furlongs, he would be joined at the front by Amber Waves, the TwinTowersRacing entry that was our pick to win the race. Full Body Cast, out of Mb Stables, is third on the rail, with the enemy of autocorrect, Locamotive, fourth in a stalking position for Aer Stables. It’s a very tight pack in the middle of the field with Hunting Foxes (D J C Racing Stables) and Insist On Time (Mb Stables) being slightly ahead of Glorious And Free (Estero Farms) and High Crimes (Jive Inc). Crack Armor (Mb Stables) is also close by. At the back, it is Kentucky Rifle (Barcelona Farms), and our eventual winner from Fractious, Tko. He had five lengths to make up.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Down the backstretch and into the turn, Dawn Rider continues to show the way, looking like he had plenty of run at this point to go the distance. He had done well to handle Amber Waves, who was still within a length of him, but coming through on the inside would be Full Body Cast with a strong run. Locamotive was still stalking this trio, and High Crimes was looking strong on the outside. He was in the sixth lane entering the stretch, and had just a length and a half to make up. Meanwhile, Tko was methodically making up ground from the back, advancing his position to the middle of the field with a clear lane running to the inside of High Crimes. Running with him was Hunting Foxes, who also seemed to be as strong of a threat for a win.

(Finish- 1:09.67)- Tko responded with an additional run that was needed in the stretch, putting away Hunting Foxes quickly, then completing the pass of High Crimes. The early leader, Dawn Rider, began to tire in the stretch, and the new leader would be Locamotive, who had a strong trip to this point. If it were not for Tko, this race would seem to be his, as he put away Full Body Cast impressively. In the final moments, the race would be decided between Tko and Locamotive, and it would be Tko taking the victory by half a length. In a three way photo for show, Full Body Cast defeats High Crimes and Hunting Foxes, but they were soundly outrun by the top two in the stretch. Dawn Rider backpedaled to sixth, defeating Crack Armor, Amber Waves, Insist On Time, Glorious And Free, and Kentucky Rifle.

About The Winner- Tko, trained by Fractious and ridden to victory by F Prat, is a two year old colt by Residue, and is out of Hunt. He was bred in California by Fractious as a first quarter two year old, and they have been together ever since. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his second in four starts, increasing his earnings to $129.000.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Tko Fractious Prat F 9.25   13/4 1:09.67 — 
  Locamotive Aer Stables Velez J I 13.40   21 1:09.82 — 
  Full Body Cast Mb Stables Cedillo A 7.95   3nk 1:10.05 — 
  High Crimes Jive Inc. Gutierrez Mario 8.85   4nk 1:10.10 — 
  Hunting Foxes D J C Racing Stables Pereira T J 4.35   51/2 1:10.15 — 
  Dawn Rider John Henry Delgadillo A 9.50   6no 1:10.25 — 
  Crack Armor Mb Stables Rispoli U 6.05   71 1:10.27 — 
  Amber Waves TwinTowersRacing Valdivia J Jr 11.30   8no 1:10.47 — 
  Insist On Time Mb Stables Smith M E 7.80   9no 1:10.48 — 
  Glorious And Free Estero Farms Espinoza V 5.45   10nk 1:10.50 — 
  Kentucky Rifle Barcelona Farms Fuentes Ru 39.25   11 1:10.57 — 

Track: Fast

Time: :23   :46   :574  1:093

$2 Mutuel Prices:

9 – Tko 20.50 9.90 7.00
4 – Locamotive   15.50 11.10
1 – Full Body Cast     6.50

$1 Exacta: 9 – 4 Paid 138.20

$1 Trifecta: 9 – 4 – 1 Paid 943.60

Scratched: Galactic Command, Ulterior Motive, Crack Danz(L)

— NS

Categories: Grade II, STAKES ARTICLES

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