A Best Pal with Gusto
Photo: Benoitphoto.com
Hollywood Juvenile Championship winner J P's Gusto headlines the Best Pal.
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J P's Gusto  , the odds-on winner of the July 5 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III), will take the next step on his life’s journey Aug. 8 at Del Mar in the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II). The 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-olds has drawn a field of seven.

J P’s Gusto, a son of Successful Appeal  —Call Her Magic, by Caller I.D., held off fellow Best Pal entrant Western Mood at Hollywood Park to win by a neck. J P’s Gusto was 7-10 in that race based on his 4 1/2-length win May 31 in Hollywood’s Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes.

A confident David Hofmans was a happy trainer following J P's Gusto's sharp workout the morning of Aug. 2.  The ridgling went six furlongs in 1:13 1/5 over Del Mar’s main track.

"It was a nice work," Hofmans said of his dual stakes winner. "He seems to like the track; he gets over it well. We're ready to go."

J P’s Gusto was bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm.

Also entered in the Best Pal is Wickedly Perfect, a filly that is also cross-entered in the Aug. 6 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III). The Doug O’Neill-trained daughter of freshman sire Congrats   blitzed through her maiden win June 27 at Hollywood Park, winning over other fillies by 4 3/4 lengths. In the Sorrento, she’ll be asked to tackle Final Mesa, Wesley Ward’s three-time winner.

Jerry Hollendorfer and George Todaro’s Western Mood broke from the outside 8 post and then rallied from 5 1/2 lengths off the pace to just miss in the Hollywood Juvenile in his second start. The Florida-bred colt by West Acre broke his maiden at first asking June 12 at Hollywood. Joel Rosario will break Western Mood from post 5 in the Best Pal.

Third in the Hollywood Juvenile was Minutesandtouches. The son of first-year sire Rockport Harbor was off slow, but rallied well to be beaten six lengths by J P’s Gusto. Jockey Victor Espinoza gets the mount this time on the colt who is still a maiden.

River's Chapel set the pace in the Hollywood Juvenile, getting the opening quarter of the six-furlong race in :22.06 before weakening to finish sixth.

Comma to the Top broke his maiden with an impressive win July 22 at Del Mar on the meet's second day. Trained by Peter Miller, Comma to the Top will be ridden by Martin Garcia.

Sway Away, trained by Jeff Bonde, won at first asking at Pleasanton and will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.

Best Pal Stakes (gr. II), Del Mar, $150,000, 2-year-olds, 61/2 furlongs (synthetic), Aug. 8, approx. post 5:30 p.m. PDT
PP - Horse - Jockey - Wgt. -Trainer
1 - J P’s Gusto - J Talamo - 123 - D Hofmans
2 - Comma to the Top - M Garcia - 117 - P Miller
3 - Wickedly Perfect - P Valenzuela - 119 - D O’Neill
4 - Minutesandtouches - V Espinoza - 117 - T Knight
5 - Western Mood - J Rosario - 119 - J Hollendorfer
6 - Sway Away - R Bejarano - 119 - J Bonde
7 - River’s Chapel - D Flores - 119 - W Solis

 

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