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Alberts Hope & Celtic Moon Futurity Bound

Alberts Hope and Celtic Moon, the 1-2 finishers in Sunday’s $150,000 Grade II Best Pal Stakes,  showed no ill effects of the race and are being pointed to the $300,000, Grade I Del Mar Futurity on September 4, their trainers said Wednesday.

“He came out of it fine, so we’ll plan on the Futurity and see what happens,” Mike Puype, trainer of Alberts Hope said via telephone from Hollywood Park. A gelded, Kentucky-bred son of Run Away and Hide, Alberts  Hope made a four-wide bid on the turn to take the lead and won by a half-length in 1:16.71 for 6 ½ furlongs.

“He won despite being wide and it’s been obvious that wide isn’t the best trip these days at Del Mar,” Puype said.

While Celtic Moon, second as the 11-1 longest shot in the field of six, took a more inside route, it wasn’t necessarily a bargain in the estimation of trainer Peter Miller.

“He had (traffic) trouble, got bumped and scraped paint,” Miller said. “But he came out of it fine, he’s doing super and we’re going on to the Futurity.”

Another impressive 2-year-old on Sunday, Aotearoa, a debut winner in the fifth race maiden special weight event, also exited his race in good shape, trainer Leonard Powell said.

“The Futurity could be a possibility, but more likely the I’m Smokin ($150,000 6 furlongs for Calbreds on Monday, September 2),” Powell said.



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