Best Pal Stakes
MARIO GUTIERREZ (Nyquist, winner) – “Good trip today and he handled himself well. I don’t know if this is the best 2-year-old I’ve been on this year, but he’s surely my favorite. I was on him right from the start; I worked him his first quarter mile. And to see how he’s grown! He was so green with no idea what he was doing when we first started. Now he’s like a professional. He does it right. Horses like this are special; just so much fun to be part of.”
KENT DESORMEAUX (Swipe, second) – “I gave up that front position and that might have made a difference. We only had a moderate pace to run at today. But there’s no doubt: he’s a nice horse.”
TYLER BAZE (Annie’s Candy, third) – “He just got tired.”
DOUG O’NEILL (Nyquist, winner) – “I think it’s safe to say he stays No. 1 of our 2-year-olds. Physically and mentally he’s the best. But you never know, things can change so quickly, good and bad, for 2-year-olds. If he stays injury free he’s got the mind of a champ. It didn’t really go as we thought, the pace was slower than we expected early. But Mario got him settled down behind a slow pace and he finished strong and showed the quality that he is. Pretty exciting.”
(Futurity next?) “I like the sound of that.”
FRACTIONS: :22.82 :46.65 1:10.67 1:16.84
The stakes win was the second of the meet for rider Gutierrez, but his first in the Best Pal. He now has seven stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the third of the meet for trainer O’Neill and his third in the Best Pal. He now has 29 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win the second of the meet for Reddam Racing, which is the nom de course of J. Paul Reddam of Laguna Beach, CA. It is Reddam’s ninth overall winner of the meet, eight of them on his own and one in partnership.