Story to Tell won the 2014 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes.

Story to Tell won the 2014 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes.

Benoit Photography

Best Pal is Next Chapter for Story to Tell

Willard Proctor Memorial winner faces talented group of youngsters at Del Mar Aug. 3.

Story to Tell, winner of the recent Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes, should get a much sterner test against seven other talented 2-year-olds in the $200,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 3 at Del Mar.

Trained by Dan Hendricks for owner Cecil Peacock, Story to Tell drew the rail as the 123-pound highweight for the 6 1/2-furlong Best Pal, a Polytrack precursor to the meet-ending Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) Sept. 3.

Story to Tell has won two of his three starts so far and was second in his other outing, the Santa Anita Juvenile Stakes June 22. In the Willard Proctor July 13 at Los Alamitos Racecourse, the Bluegrass Cat  colt took the lead after a quarter mile and prevailed while racing well off the rail by 1 1/4 lengths. Joe Talamo, aboard Story to Tell in each of his starts, has the return call.

Among the three horses he beat in the six-furlong Proctor was Best Pal entrant Bad Read Sanchez, who was second at 9-10 odds.

"He has put on weight since his last race and you couldn't ask for more than that for a 2-year-old," Hendricks said. "It's going to be a jockey's race and we have the inside post position, so we'll see what happens.

"We're ahead of the game with him right now, and we're just enjoying it," he said of Story to Tell, the 5-2 morning line pick.

Story to Tell was purchased by Hendricks, as agent, on Peacock's behalf, for $200,000 from the Wavertree Stables consignment at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training. Ciaran Dunne, agent, made the original purchase on the bay colt for $82,000 from consignor Thoroughstock at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company 2013 August yearling sale.

Reddam Racing's Bad Read Sanchez had some trouble in the Proctor and gets off the rail this time for trainer Doug O'Neill. The son of Warrior's Reward , a $130,000 Keeneland September yearling buy, won his debut at Santa Anita Park June 20 by 10 lengths and should be formidable once again. Mario Gutierrez retains the mount.

O'Neill also entered Success Racing's Henry's Holiday, a sharp first-out winner at Santa Anita in May before finishing fourth last time in the 5 1/2-furlong Santa Anita Juvenile.

Trainer Peter Miller sends out Rowdy Dylan, who comes into the Best Pal off a 7 1/2-length maiden special weight romp at Los Alamitos in his second start July 12. The Kentucky-bred chestnut colt by Sky Mesa  was a $280,000 purchase by owners Rockingham Ranch and David Lanzman at the Barretts March sale. He is the first foal out of the stakes-placed Broken Vow  mare Serious Vow and is from the female family of multiple grade II winner Classy Cara.

Edwin Maldonado is back aboard Rowdy Dylan, who was second in his debut to Holiday Camp at Santa Anita June 7 after a slow start.

Trainer Mark Casse is represented by John Oxley's Skyway, third in the Bahsford Manor (gr. III) at Churchill Downs June 28, and Conquest Stables' Conquest Bigluck E, a debut maiden winner at Churchill at 4 1/2 furlongs June 5.

Skyway, a $165,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling purchase in October, won at first asking while going 4 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland in April. In the six-furlong Bashford Manor, he was in tight after stalking the pace and finished 5 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Cinco Charlie .

Rounding out the field are Two Six Wins, a last-out maiden winner for trainer Mike Pender, and Highway Boss, a restricted stakes winner at Turfway Park July 6 for trainer Molly Pearson.

Entries: Best Pal S. (G2)

Del Mar, Sunday, August 03, 2014, Race 8

  • Grade II
  • 6 1/2f
  • All Weather Track
  • $200,000
  • 2 yo
  • 5:40 PM (local)
11Story to Tell (KY)Joseph Talamo123Dan L. Hendricks-
22Conquest Bigluck E (KY)Mike E. Smith119Mark E. Casse-
33Two Six Wins (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin A. Pedroza119Michael Pender-
44Bad Read Sanchez (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMario Gutierrez119Doug F. O'Neill-
55Rowdy Dylan (KY)Edwin A. Maldonado119Peter Miller-
66Henry's Holiday (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze119Doug F. O'Neill-
77Skyway (NY)Stewart Elliott119Mark E. Casse-
88Highway Boss (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTiago Josue Pereira121Molly J. Pearson-