Perfect Moon Could Shine in Best Pal

(from Del Mar report)
Featuring the return of Hollywood Juvenile Championship winner Perfect Moon and four impressive maiden winners at the seaside, a field of 11 classy 2-year-olds is set for Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) at 6 1/2 furlongs on the Del Mar main track.

The Best Pal will be the first of two stakes on the day and will be run as the second race on the nine-race card. Post time will be approximately 2:30 p.m. PDT.

All 11 entered are winners, but only Perfect Moon, owned by Annabelle Stute and The Hat Ranch, has a stakes victory to his credit. The gelded son of Malibu Moon has two wins and a second in six starts, with earnings of $93,870. He will carry high weight of 122 pounds, spotting his rivals from four to six pounds.

Joining the Mel Stute trainee from the Hollywood Juvenile will be runner-up Blairs Roarin Star, owned by David J. Lanzman Racing Stable and trained by Doug O'Neill, and Darley Stud Management's third-place Juvenile finisher Ruler's Court, trained by Eoin Harty.

Posting an impressive win at Del Mar on Aug, 2 in his first start was Siphonizer, trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella for owner B. Wayne Hughes.

Also coming to the race from sharp scores at the seashore are Wild Babe, trained by Jerry Dutton, the Paul Aguirre-trained Rush Into Heaven, and Feb Eleven, trained by Warren Stute.

Of Perfect Moon, Mel Stute said, "He paid the rent down here, now we have to get him to pay the rent for Oak Tree."

For the first time since 1995, the field does not have a Bob Baffert trainee. Baffert, who has won the Del Mar Futurity for the past seven years and is the perennial king of the juveniles, has won four of the past six runnings of the Best Pal and finished third in the other two.

$150,000 Best Pal Stakes, 2 year-olds, 6 1/2 furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Feb Eleven, 116, Matt Garcia
2. Wild Babe, 118, Victor Espinoza
3. Siphonizer, 118, Julie Krone
4. Blairs Roarin Star, 118, Mike Smith
5. Last Time in Town, 118, Gary Stevens
6. Rush Into Heaven, 116, Iggy Puglisi
7. Badgett's Mandate, 118, Kent Desormeaux
8. Military Mandate, 118, Alex Solis
9. Ruler's Court, 118, David Flores
10. Perfect Moon, 122, Patrick Valenzuela
11. Capitano, 118, Jose Valdivia Jr.

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