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Best Pal Winner Skyway Pointing for Futurity

Trainer Mark Casse says Conquest Bigluck E should also run; Doug O'Neill pair likely.

Skyway, who gave trainer Mark Casse his first Del Mar victory in the $200,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II), is expected to return in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) on the meet's closing day Sept. 3.

The 2-year-old New York-bred son of Sky Mesa , owned by John C. Oxley, was a 1 1/4-length winner,  covering the 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack in 1:16.67. He defeated the Doug O'Neill-trained duo of Henry's Holiday and Bad Read Sanchez, who finished second and third, respectivley, in the Aug. 3 heat.

"He came out of it just great," Casse said the morning of Aug. 6. Then the six-time Sovereign Award winner as Canada's top trainer reached into his pocket for the wooden clip he carries with him to touch for luck. "If all goes well, he'll go next in the Futurity."

The $300,000 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs determines the meet's juvenile champion.

With Stewart Elliott aboard, Skyway has won two of his three starts thus far. He broke his maiden handily on Polytrack at Keeneland in April in his debut, then came back with a troubled third in the Bashford Manor (gr. III) on dirt at Churchill Downs June 28.

Casse scratched his second Best Pal entrant, Conquest Bigluck E, when the colt showed signs of illness. But Casse reported Wednesday that the son of Lookin At Lucky  was well on the mend.

"He's happy this morning. I'll aim him for the Futurity," Casse said. "It's unfortunate (missing the Best Pal), but it could be a lot worse. He's better and his blood count never got too bad "

O'Neill said that both Henry's Holiday and Bad Read Sanchez "look fantastic," and will be aimed for the Futurity as well.