Del Mar’s ten-race program Saturday will feature an attractive stakes doubleheader, spotlighting two-year-olds in the 45th running of the Grade II $200,000 Best Pal and classy older fillies and mares in the 58th running of the Grade II $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes.
Post time for the first race Saturday is 2 p.m.
The Best Pal Stakes, six and one-half furlong steppingstone to the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity on closing day, Sept. 7, attracted a field of six talented juveniles – Found Money (Corey Nakatani), Paynes Prairie (Martin Pedroza), Bistraya (Gonzalo Nicolas), Swipe (Kent Desormeaux), Nyquist (Mario Gutierrez) and Annie’s Candy (Tyler Baze).
Found Money, a son of Square Eddie trained by Doug O’Neill, is the likely betting choice on the basis of his unbeaten two-for-two record, including success in the Santa Anita Juvenile Stakes Jun 21.
The John C. Mabee, carded at nine furlongs on the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course, drew a line-up of nine distaff runners – Notte d’Oro (Flavien Prat), Emotional Kitten (Gary Stevens), Fanticola (Joe Talamo), Stormy Lucy (Rafael Bejarano), Personal Diary (Brice Blanc), Gusto Dolce (Pedroza), Queen of the Sand (Drayden Van Dyke), Elektrum (Victor Espinoza) and Blingismything (Baze).
Expected to duel for favoritism are Fanticola and Queen of the Sand, first and second, respectively, in the Royal Heroine at Santa Anita where they were separated by only a neck.