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2023 Best Pal Stakes

Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Flavien Prat with Prince of Monaco after winning the 2023 Best Pal Stakes
Date: 8/13/2023

The highlight race on Saturday at Del Mar was the $200,000 Best Pal Stakes (G3) for two-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. Conditions were excellent with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 70's. A short field of just 5 made final entry, with Muth sent off as the 1-2 favorite off his debut win by 8 3/4 lengths at Santa Anita on June 18. In to challenge him included 9-5 stablemate Prince of Monaco off his debut win at Los Alamitos by 8 lengths on July 9, and 8-1 third choice Raging Torrent, a debut winner by 2 1/4 lengths at Del Mar on July 23.

Prince of Monaco leads down the stretch

Jockey Edwin Maldonado sent 12-1 fourth choice Tranche to the lead out of the chute through an opening quarter of 21.76 while pressed by Muth and stalked by Raging Torrent. On the far turn Tranche tired allowing Muth to gain the lead through a half in 44.76. Turning fro home, Prince of Monaco, 4th early under Flavien Prat, came out 3 wide to sweep to the front through 5f in 56.90. Kept to task by Prat, Prince of Monaco powered away late to win by 4 1/4 lengths over favorite Muth in 1:09.19. It was another 4 1/2 lengths back to Raging Torrent third.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey       Win    Place Show
 5   Prince of Monaco   Prat          5.60  2.80  2.10
 4   Muth               Hernandez           2.40  2.10
 1   Raging Torrent     Fresu                     2.10

Winning Time:  1:09.19

$1 Exacta 5-4                 3.80
$2 Quinella 4-5               2.60
$1 Trifecta 5-4-1             6.20
Results Chart

Left: Prince of Monaco in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "He (Prat) rode that filly (in Race 3) really fast and I said 'That's okay, just don't do that on this one.' We knew the other horse was really quick and I was hoping Muth would lay off the pace but he just engaged early. Prat saw what was going on and he took back and I like the way the horse responded and he had a good post for it. You put good riders on good horses but it was really key that he rode that filly for me in the third race."

Right: Prince of Monaco returns after the race. Winning jockey Flavien Prat said, "Mr. Baffert called me and asked me to come out and ride a horse for him. And so here I am. He was very comfortable out there; felt good all the way. I saw the pace was hot and I just waited my turn. He's a nice colt I thought the draw was good. And yes, I think he can run farther."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Muth in the paddock. Jockey Juan Hernandez said, "He had no excuses. I was comfortable and I was outside. At the quarter-pole, he didn't open up like last time. The other ran better today."

Right: Third place finisher Raging Torrent in the paddock. The Doug O'Neill trainee improved his record to 1 win and 1 third in 2 starts, earning $73,200 for owners Great Friends Stables and Mark Davis.

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