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 Easy Solution was withdrawn from the original field.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.