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O'Neill Times Two in Best Pal

Trainer Doug O’Neill will saddle Bad Read Sanchez, the 3-1 second choice behind 5-2 Story to Tell, and 10-1 Henry’s Holiday in Sunday’s $200,000 Grade II Best Pal Stakes for 2-year-olds.

Bad Read Sanchez finshed 1 ¼ lengths behind Story to Tell in the Willard Proctor Memorial at Los Alamitos on July 13. Henry’s Holiday was fourth behind O’Neill’s Wake Up Nick in the Santa Anita Juvenile on June 22. Wake Up Nick went on to win the Graduation Stakes here last Wednesday.

“(Bad Read Sanchez) is such a solid, honest horse and he came out of his Los Al race in good order.” O’Neill said. “ He drew a good post and we’re looking for big things out of him. (Henry’s Holiday) is a trier and he’ll be running through the lane. He’s not without a chance.”

Trainer Mark Casse scratched Conquest Bigluck E from the Best Pal on Saturday morning and will saddle Skyway.

“Skyway broke his maiden at Keeneland and I think he’s run better on the synthetic than he did on the dirt (third in Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs on June 28).”

Casse was the underbidder on Bad Read Sanchez when the Warrior’s Reward colt sold for $130,000 at the Keeneland September Sale in 2013 and was unsuccessful in an attempt to purchase him privately from owner J. Paul Reddam.

“Now I’ve got to run against him,” Casse noted.

WHAT’S IN A NAME -- In 1990, Best Pal won the Balboa Stakes, later named in his honor, and Del Mar Futurity. In 1991 he won the first Pacific Classic. Best Pal was the harbinger and preeminent among a string of standouts for the Golden Eagle Farm of John and Betty Mabee.


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