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Best Pal Top Three Target Futurity

Skyway, who gave trainer Mark Casse his first Del Mar stakes victory – and first win of any kind at the track – in Sunday’s $200,000 Grade II Best Pal Stakes, returned from the effort in good shape.

The 2-year-old New York-bred son of Sky Mesa, owned by John C. Oxley, was a 1 ¼-length winner,  covering the 6 ½ furlongs on Polytrack in 1:16.67.  Doug O’Neill-trained Henry’s Holiday and Bad Read Sanchez finished second and third.

"He came out of it just great,” Casse said Wednesday morning. Then the six-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada’s top trainer reached into his pocket for the wooden clip he carries with him to touch for luck. “If all goes well, he’ll go next in the Futurity.” The 7-furlong, $300,000 Grade I Del Mar Futurity, the race that determines the meet’s juvenile champion,will be run on closing day, Wednesday, September 3.

Casse scratched his other Best Pal entrant, Conquest Bigluck E, when the colt showed signs of illness. But Casse reported Wednesday that the son of Lookin At Lucky was well on the mend. 

“He’s happy this morning. I’ll aim him for the Futurity,” Casse said. “It’s unfortunate (missing the Best Pal), but it could be a lot worse. He’s better and his blood count never got too bad “

O’Neill said that both Henry’s Holiday and Bad Read Sanchez “look fantastic,” and will be aimed for the Futurity as well.


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