Outta Here, who has yet to win a race but already is stakes placed, looms as a dangerous factor in Wednesday's grade III, $150,000 Best Pal Stakes.
His biggest booster, besides his two sharp runner-up finishes in two career races, is co-owner and trainer William Currin. "He's a nice colt. He's been training well. He's run two times and has been a good second in both. The rider [Kent Desormeaux] likes him and I like him, so why not [try the stakes race]?"
In his two starts, Outta Here was beaten by the classy Inamorato in his debut and by Crowned Dancer, another top-notch 2-year-old in the grade III Hollywood Juvenile Championship.
That turns out to be pretty salty competition and Currin recognizes that, saying, "I feel as comfortable with this bunch as I would with maiden special weights so why waste the opportunity? May as well run for the money." Currin likes the added distance of the 6 1/2 furlongs for the son of Dehere whom he bought for $37,000 at the 2001 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Currin, who owns the horse with partner Al Eisman, says the 2-year-old could "be trained with a piece of string. You can lead him all over the racetrack. He's not a bit nervous. He's a happy horse. But when he gets to the track he lights up."
Lighting up is what he'll need to do if he's to handle the other eight, including four from the talent-deep Bob Baffert barn, scheduled to go to the post in the Best Pal. The four Baffert trainees are Icecoldbeeratreds, winner of Del Mar's Graduation Stakes and undefeated in two outings; Chief Planner, Vindication and Kafwain. The last three named have one win apiece.
Hell Cat, Luzern, Gralley and Red Apache are the other winners going in the race.