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– 1st Star: Know More (KY) – A first time starter is not supposed to win a Grade 2 stakes, but Know More did on Sunday. He handled everything like an absolute pro in the Best Pal Stakes. He rated perfectly off the pace, and pounced in the stretch to prevail by a half-length in the end. Know More has the same owner and trainer as I’ll Have Another, so that will become a big story. One handicapping lesson from this race: When Garrett Gomez is on a unraced horse in a Grade 2 stakes, take notice! He knew what he was doing, and so did Doug O’Neill. This one looks like he could become a special type of horse. You’d have to think he’ll only improve off this effort, so you better put him on your watch list.
– 2nd Star: Include Me Out (KY) – Her victory Saturday in the Clement L. Hirsch was the second Grade 1 win of her career, and it was a game effort. Include Me Out was in an all out drive to get the lead, and dug deep once getting it and just held on. I’ve said a couple of times this year that the California older female division is not as strong as usual, but it’s clear to me this horse is the best of the group. If she wants to beat the east coast shippers at the Breeders Cup she’ll have to step her game up, but remember she will have home advantage. That advantage was vital when the Breeders Cup was last ran at Santa Anita.
– 3rd Star: Capo Bastone (KY) – There was a lot of buzz about this horse coming into the race, and boy did we find out why! I actually thought about rating his performance higher than the third star, but didn’t because it was only a maiden victory Capo Bastone broke poorly, and looked to be in some trouble in the early stages as he trailed by almost 11 lengths at the first call. However, at the top of the stretch he exploded by them all, and was confidently ridden to win by a neck. You can bet that a stakes race will be next for this impressive winner. Perhaps Capo Bastone vs. Know More might happen??
– Scherer Magic (IA) – This really wasn’t a huge disappointment, but it does qualify him for this spot. Scherer Magic was the even money favorite in the Best Pal, but struggled and finished fifth. His trip wasn’t the greatest, and by no means should you write him off completely. But, this was definitely a step backwards for this over achieving Iowa bred.
– The Sorrento Stakes (Grade 3) – Wednesday – 2-year-old fillies – six and one half furlongs – $150,000
– The Daisycutter Handicap – Friday – Fillies and mares 3-year-old and upward – five furlongs (turf) – $85,000
– The La Jolla Handicap (Grade 2) – Saturday – 3 year olds – 1 and 1/16th miles (turf) – $150,000
– The John C. Mabee Stakes (Grade 2) – Sunday – Fillies and mare 3 year olds and upward – 1 and 1/8th miles (turf) – $250,000
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