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Alberts Hope Resists Celtic Moon in Best Pal

Jaam Racing’s Alberts Hope, the 5-2 betting choice under jockey Alonso Quinonez, gamely resisted the challenge of longshot Celtic Moon to win Sunday’s featured $150,000 Best Pal Stakes for two-year-olds.

Alberts Hope, a maiden winner at 33-1 in his debut July 14 at Betfair Hollywood Park, rallied widest of all turning into the stretch to take command and then showed his courage in outduelling Celtic Moon, an 11-1 outsider piloted by Edwin Maldonado, to win by a half-length in 1:16.71 for the 6 ½ furlongs over Del Mar’s main track.

Guns Loaded, 3-1 second choice, was third, 2 ¼ lengths behind the runner-up and 1 ½ lengths in front of fourth-place Ontology in the field of six juveniles. Easy Solution was withdrawn from the original field.

Alberts Hope, a son of Run Away and Hide, provided a suitable 47th birthday present for his conditioner, Mike Puype. To his supporters, the Kentucky-bred gelding returned $7, $4.80 and $3.40. First money of $90,000 increased his earnings to $121,200.

Celtic Moon returned $9 and $4, while Guns Loaded paid $3.20 to show.

The Best Pal Stakes is the major prelude to the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity which will be presented at seven furlongs on closing day,Wednesday, Sept. 4.

There were no perfect tickets in Sunday’s Pick Six, so Wednesday’s program will feature a carryover of $265,129. Post time for the first of eight races will be 2 p.m.



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