Best Pal Stakes

The Best Pal Stakes is a Grade II American Thoroughbred horse race for two-year-olds over a distance of six furlongs on the dirt track scheduled annually in August at Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, California. The event currently carries a purse of $150,000.

Best Pal Stakes
Grade II race
LocationDel Mar Racetrack
Del Mar, California, United States
Inaugurated1967 (as Balboa Stakes)
Race typeThoroughbred - Flat racing
WebsiteDel Mar
Race information
Distance6 furlongs
Surfacedirt
Trackleft-handed
QualificationTwo-year-olds
Weight123 lbs with allowances
Purse$150,000 (2020)

HistoryEdit

The event was inaugurated on 30 October 1967 as the Balboa Stakes with split divisions on the final day of the Del Mar 62 day racing season which went into the deep autumn.[1] The event was for three-year-olds and older, and held on the turf over a distance of nine furlongs.[1] The name reflected several area locations — Balboa Park near San Diego, Balboa Peninsula up the coast in Newport Beach, and Balboa Avenue in Del Mar which is located adjacent to the Del Mar Fairgrounds — all named in honor of the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa.

The event was not run again until 1972 when conditions changed so that two-year-olds would run over a distance of 7+12 furlongs.[2] In 1974, the event was moved to the dirt track and run over a one mile distance.[2]

In 1983 the event was classified as Grade III and was upgraded to Grade II in 2003.[3]

In 1995 the event was renamed to honor Best Pal, a three time California Horse of the Year who won the Balboa Stakes in 1990 and whose career earnings totaled more than $5.6 million for his owner-breeder, Golden Eagle Farm.[4]

The event has had several distance changes with last being in 2018 when the journey was set at six furlongs.[3]

The event's position in the racing calendar at Del Mar has led to the race being a preparatory race for the Del Mar Futurity, which is scheduled usually several weeks later.

Other notable winners of this event include the 1994 winner Timber Country who went on that year to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and was crowned US Champion Two-Year-Old Horse who the following year became the first horse to ever win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and American Triple Crown Classic Race when he won the 1995 Preakness Stakes. The 2009 winner, Lookin at Lucky, was crowned US Champion Two-Year-Old Horse and the following year also won the 2010 Preakness Stakes. The 2015 winner Nyquist followed up by winning the Del Mar Futurity and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, along with being crowned the US Champion Two-Year-Old Horse and the following year winning the 2016 Kentucky Derby.

RecordsEdit

Speed record:

  • 6 furlongs: 1:10.27 – Instagrand (2018)
  • 6+12 furlongs: 1:15.08 – Officer (2001)
  • 7 furlongs: 1:22.20 – Best Pal (1990)
  • 1 mile: 1:35.40 – Doonesbury (1979) and Roving Boy (1982)

Margins:

  • 10+14 lengths – Instagrand (2018)

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

  • 8 - Bob Baffert (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2016)

Most wins by an owner:

Best Pal Stakes – Del Mar Futurity double:

  • Diabolo (1974), Visible (1976), Flying Paster (1978), Bold and Gold (1980), Saratoga Six (1984), Best Pal (1990), Worldly Manner (1998), Flame Thrower (2000), Officer (2001), Lookin At Lucky (2009), J P's Gusto (2010), Nyquist (2015), Klimt (2016)

WinnersEdit

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Distance Time Purse Grade Ref
Best Pal Stakes
2020 Weston Drayden Van Dyke Ryan Hanson Chris Drakos & Ryan Hanson 6 furlongs 1:12.72 $151,000 II [5]
2019 Collusion Illusion Joseph Talamo Mark Glatt Dan J. Agnew, Rodney E. Orr, Jerry Schneider & John V. Xitco 6 furlongs 1:11.34 $200,351 II [6]
2018 Instagrand Drayden Van Dyke Jerry Hollendorfer OXO Equine 6 furlongs 1:10.27 $200,000 II [7]
2017 Run Away Flavien Prat Simon Callaghan Kaleem Shah 6+12 furlongs 1:17.91 $201,035 II [8]
2016 Klimt Rafael Bejarano Bob Baffert Kaleem Shah 6+12 furlongs 1:16.11 $200,345 II [9]
2015 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug F. O'Neill Reddam Racing 6+12 furlongs 1:16.84 $200,250 II [10]
2014 Skyway Stewart Elliott Mark E. Casse John C. Oxley 6+12 furlongs 1:16.67 $200,250 II [11]
2013 Alberts Hope Alonso Quinonez Mike Puype Jaam Racing 6+12 furlongs 1:16.71 $150,250 II [12]
2012 Know More Garrett K. Gomez Doug F. O'Neill Reddam Racing 6+12 furlongs 1:16.14 $150,000 II [13]
2011 Creative Cause Rafael Bejarano Mike Harrington Heinz Steinmann 6+12 furlongs 1:15.62 $150,000 II [14]
2010 J P's Gusto Pat Valenzuela David E. Hofmans Gem Inc. 6+12 furlongs 1:16.61 $150,000 II [15]
2009 Lookin At Lucky Garrett K. Gomez Bob Baffert Michael E. Pegram, Karl Watson & Paul Weitman 6+12 furlongs 1:16.06 $150,000 II [16]
2008 † Azul Leon Rafael Bejarano Doug F. O'Neill Joseph LaCombe Stable 6+12 furlongs 1:16.73 $150,000 II [17]
2007 Salute the Sarge Michael C. Baze Eric J. Guillot Southern Equine Stable 6+12 furlongs 1:19.43 $147,000 II [18]
2006 Principle Secret Alex O. Solis Christopher S. Paasch Charles R. Cono 6+12 furlongs 1:16.15 $150,000 II [19]
2005 What a Song Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis 6+12 furlongs 1:15.64 $147,000 II [20]
2004 Roman Ruler Corey Nakatani Bob Baffert Fog City Stable 6+12 furlongs 1:15.93 $147,000 II [21]
2003 Perfect Moon Pat Valenzuela Melvin F. Stute Annabelle Stute & The Hat Ranch 6+12 furlongs 1:16.90 $150,000 II [22]
2002 Kafwain Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corporation 6+12 furlongs 1:17.00 $150,000 III [23]
2001 Officer Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corporation 6+12 furlongs 1:15.08 $138,000 III [24]
2000 Flame Thrower Corey Nakatani Bob Baffert Gary M. Garber 6+12 furlongs 1:16.51 $150,000 III [25]
1999 Dixie Union Alex O. Solis Richard E. Mandella Diamond A Racing Corp. & Herman Sarkowsky 6+12 furlongs 1:16.40 $150,000 III [26]
1998 Worldly Manner Gary L. Stevens Bob Baffert Golden Eagle Farm 6+12 furlongs 1:16.60 $109,300 III [27]
1997 Old Topper Alex O. Solis Noble Threewitt Barbara Hunter 6+12 furlongs 1:16.40 $108,825 III [28]
1996 Swiss Yodeler Alex O. Solis Mike Harrington Heinz Steinmann 6+12 furlongs 1:16.00 $105,550 III [29]
Balboa Stakes
1995 Cobra King Russell Baze Mike Puype Frances B. Biszantz 6+12 furlongs 1:15.80 $105,350 III [30]
1994 Timber Country Alex O. Solis D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm, Gainesway Stable, Robert & Beverly Lewis, et. al. 6+12 furlongs 1:16.60 $80,325 III [31]
1993 Creston Corey Black Jenine Sahadi Evergreen Farm 6+12 furlongs 1:16.20 $79,650 III [32]
1992 Devil Diamond Kent J. Desormeaux Gary F. Jones Golden Eagle Farm 7 furlongs 1:22.60 $79,650 III [33]
1991 Scherando Francisco Mena Richard W. Mulhall Chase Mishkin 7 furlongs 1:22.40 $81,375 III [34]
1990 Best Pal Pat Valenzuela Ian P. D. Jory Golden Eagle Farm 7 furlongs 1:22.20 $80,325 III [35]
1989 A. Sir Dancer Eddie Delahoussaye Charles M. Marikian G. Arakelian Farms 7 furlongs 1:23.00 $81,300 III [36]
1988 Rob an Plunder Chris McCarron Craig Anthony Lewis Diamond Jim, et al. 7 furlongs 1:23.00 $81,800 III [37]
1987 Purdue King Chris McCarron Irv Guiney John Valpredo 7 furlongs 1:23.20 $65,500 III [38]
1986 Temperate Sil Bill Shoemaker Charles E. Whittingham Frankfurt Stable 7 furlongs 1:23.00 $54,750 III [39]
1985 Swear Eddie Delahoussaye Willard L. Proctor Claiborne Farm 1 mile 1:36.60 $55,250 III [40]
1984 Saratoga Six Angel Cordero Jr. D. Wayne Lukas D. Wayne Lukas, Eaton Farms, L. R. French Jr., Eugene Klein, Mel Hatley, & Samuel Lyon 1 mile 1:36.80 $54,150 III [41]
1983 Party Leader Ray Sibille Gary F. Jones Elmendorf Farm 1 mile 1:37.20 $54,050 III [42]
1982 Roving Boy Eddie Delahoussaye Joseph Manzi Robert E. Hibbert 1 mile 1:35.40 $53,150 Listed [43]
1981 The Captain Laffit Pincay Jr. Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1 mile 1:36.80 $44,400 Listed [44]
1980 Bold and Gold Dean C. Hall William A. Reavis Ted Rexius 1 mile 1:37.40 $38,300 Listed [45]
1979 Doonesbury Sandy Hawley Barney Willis Fletcher Jones, Sam Roffe & Barney Willis 1 mile 1:35.40 $32,800 Listed [46]
1978 Flying Paster Donald R. Pierce Gordon C. Campbell Bernard J. Ridder 1 mile 1:35.60 $33,000 Listed [47]
1977 Spanish Way Laffit Pincay Jr. Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1 mile 1:36.00 $27,950 Listed [48]
1976 § Visible Laffit Pincay Jr. Vincent Clyne Elmendorf Farm 1 mile 1:35.80 $22,450 Listed [49]
1975 Crazy Channon Donald Pierce Harold C. McBride Colvin, Engelson & Nadel 1 mile 1:37.20 $22,700 Listed [50]
1974 Diabolo Bill Shoemaker Sidney Martin Frank M. McMahon 1 mile 1:35.60 $22,050 Listed [51]
1973 Battery E. Wayne Harris Dennis W. Sparks Diamond M Ranch 7+12 furlongs 1:30.60 $21,750 Listed [52]
1972 Brave Dance Fernando Toro Wayne B. Stucki J. Kel Houssels 7+12 furlongs 1:29.80 $21,625 [53]
1968–1971 Race not held
1967 Acknowledge William Harmatz Gordon C. Campbell Vicgray Farm 1+18 miles 1:49.40 $17,575 ‡3YO & older Division 1[54]
Het's Cadet Miguel Yanez Linwood J. Brooks Wallace F. Zager 1:49.60 $17,575 Division 2[1]

Legend:
  All Weather Track   Dirt   Turf
Notes:
‡ The inaugural running of the event in 1967 was for three year olds and older and was split into two divisions. The First Division winner Acknowledge was a six year old. The Second Division winner Het's Cadet was a four year old.
† In the 2008 Kelly Leak was first past the post but caused interference in the straight by drifting in and was disqualified and placed fourth. Azul Leon was declared the winner.
§ Ran as part of an entry

See alsoEdit

List of American and Canadian Graded races

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Hebert, Bob (31 October 1967). "Het's Cadet, Acknowledge Split Windup (1967 Balboa Stakes Division 2 - race 9: held 30 October 1967)". Los Angeles Times. p. 38. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "BEST PAL STAKES - DEL MAR, CA". Thoroughbred Pedigree Online. 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Best Pal Stakes (Gr. 2)". Equibase. 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  4. ^ "BEST PAL (USA) b. G, 1988 - 47 Starts, 18 Wins, 11 Places, 4 Shows Career Earnings: $5,668,245". Thoroughbred Pedigree Online. 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  5. ^ "2020 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 6)". Equibase. 8 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  6. ^ "2019 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  7. ^ "2018 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 3)". Equibase. 11 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  8. ^ "2017 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 9)". Equibase. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  9. ^ "2016 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 13 August 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  10. ^ "2015 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 5)". Equibase. 8 August 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  11. ^ "2014 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  12. ^ "2013 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 4 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  13. ^ "2012 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 5 August 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  14. ^ "2011 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  15. ^ "2010 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  16. ^ "2009 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 4)". Equibase. 9 August 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  17. ^ "2008 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  18. ^ "2007 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 12 August 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  19. ^ "2006 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 13 August 2006. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  20. ^ "2005 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 8)". Equibase. 14 August 2005. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  21. ^ "2004 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 2)". Equibase. 15 August 2004. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  22. ^ "2003 Best Pal Stakes Grade 2 - (race 2)". Equibase. 17 August 2003. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  23. ^ "2002 Best Pal Stakes Grade 3 - (race 7)". Equibase. 21 August 2002. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  24. ^ "2001 Best Pal Stakes Grade 3 - (race 7)". Equibase. 15 August 2001. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  25. ^ "2000 Best Pal Stakes Grade 3 - (race 7)". Equibase. 23 August 2000. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  26. ^ "1999 Best Pal Stakes Grade 3 - (race 7)". Equibase. 18 August 1999. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  27. ^ "1998 Best Pal Stakes Grade 3 - (race 7)". Equibase. 14 August 1998. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  28. ^ "1997 Best Pal Stakes Grade 3 - (race 7)". Equibase. 20 August 1997. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  29. ^ "1996 Best Pal Stakes Grade 3 - (race 8)". Equibase. 21 August 1996. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  30. ^ "1995 Balboa Stakes Grade 3 - (race 8)". Equibase. 23 August 1995. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  31. ^ "1994 Balboa Stakes Grade 3 - (race 8)". Equibase. 24 August 1994. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  32. ^ "1993 Balboa Stakes Grade 3 - (race 8)". Equibase. 20 August 1993. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  33. ^ "1992 Balboa Stakes Grade 3 - (race 8)". Equibase. 28 August 1992. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  34. ^ "1991 Balboa Stakes Grade 3 - (race 8)". Equibase. 21 August 1991. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  35. ^ Sauer, Kathleen (23 August 1990). "Best Pal is looking like Futurity favorite (1990 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 22 August 1990)". Oceanside North County Blade-Citizen. p. 21. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  36. ^ "A. Sir Dancer is Balboa Winner (1989 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 23 August 1989)". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 24 August 1989. p. 56. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  37. ^ "Stevens spills; McCarron Rides Winner (1988 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 31 August 1988)". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 1 September 1988. p. 94. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  38. ^ Schuelein, Steve (3 September 1987). "Purdue King noses out Accomplish Ridge (1987 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 2 September 1987)". Escondido Times-Advocate. Associated Press. p. 39. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  39. ^ "Temperate Sil Wins (1986 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 27 August 1986)". The San Bernardino County Sun. Associated Press. 28 August 1986. p. 51. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  40. ^ Ello, Chris (29 August 1985). "Swear Shows Great Promise in Balboa Win (1985 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 28 August 1985)". Los Angeles Times. p. 70. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  41. ^ McManus, Sam (30 August 1984). "Lukas' Saratoga Six Wins by Half Length at Del Mar (1984 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 29 August 1984)". Los Angeles Times. p. 46. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  42. ^ "Thoroughbred Racing Roundup (1983 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 31 August 1983)". The Courier-Journal. Associated Press. 1 September 1983. pp. 14, 40. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  43. ^ "Del Mar Charts (1982 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 25 August 1982)". Los Angeles Times. 26 August 1982. p. 66. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  44. ^ "The Captain wins DM feature (1981 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 26 August 1981)". Escondido Times-Advocate. Associated Press. 27 August 1981. p. 38. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  45. ^ "Bold and Gold Wins Balboa at $61.60 (1980 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 27 August 1980)". Los Angeles Times. United Press International. 28 August 1980. p. 58. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  46. ^ "Doonesbury, 4-5, Wins in Final Yards (1979 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 29 August 1979)". Los Angeles Times. 30 August 1979. p. 84. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  47. ^ "Flying Paster Wins and Sets a New Record (1978 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 30 August 1978)". Los Angeles Times. 31 August 1978. p. 69. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  48. ^ "Spanish Way finds a way at Del Mar (1977 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 31 August 1977)". Escondido Times-Advocate. Associated Press. 1 September 1977. p. 16. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  49. ^ "Visible Speedy Del Mar Winner (1976 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 1 September 1976)". Long Beach Independent. 2 September 1976. p. 43. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  50. ^ "Wild Win for Crazy Channon (1975 Balboa Stakes - race 8: held 27 August 1975)". Long Beach Independent. 28 August 1975. p. 48. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  51. ^ "Church, Shoe Act like kids (1974 Balboa Stakes - race 7: held 28 August 1974)". Long Beach Independent. 29 August 1974. p. 46. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  52. ^ "Battery triumphs in Balboa (1973 Balboa Stakes - race 7: held 31 August 1973)". Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram. 1 September 1973. p. 14. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  53. ^ "Del Mar set for holiday (1972 Balboa Stakes - race 7: held 1 September 1972)". Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram. 2 September 1972. p. 27. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  54. ^ "Acknowledge Sets Record; Del Mar Ends Its Fall Meeting (1967 Balboa Stakes Division 1 - race 8: held 30 October 1967)". Pasadena Independent. 31 October 1967. p. 16. Retrieved 2 August 2020.