Making his career debut, Know More, a 2-year-old colt by Lion Heart, swept to victory in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes under Garrett Gomez.
Sent off at odds of 801, Know More wore down Heir Kitty in the final sixteenth to win by a half-length. The colt covered the 6 ½ furongs in 1:16.14.
“He’s been a work in progress in the mornings,” said Gomez. “He’s been on edge, especially mentally. He wouldn’t relax. He’d be too much into his game. So we’ve been working with him, between the ears, to slow him down. Get him to enjoy his work. I’ve worked him two or three times in the morning, working to get him to be more comfortable. Today, he did it right. He broke out of there good and he relaxed. When I asked him to move up on the backside, he did it just fine. Then he went to running. This race is six and a half, too. Not five or five and a half (furlongs). It takes a special kind of horse to do what he did. We just have to be hopeful that he’s all that we think he is.”
Scherer Magic, the even-money favorite fresh from a triumph in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, finished fifth after racing in traffic in the early stages of the sprint.
O’Neill had been touting Know More for weeks, expressing his confidence in the colt.
“We’re blessed with three or four good maidens right now and we’re trying to keep them separated. We thought he was the best one so we’d try him in this race,” he said. “Garrett (Gomez) was kind enough to come out and work him a couple of times and when he said he would take the mount for us that cinched it. It exceeded our expectations. We were expecting him to put in a good effort, but you never expect something like this right out of the box. Now it’s on to the Futurity.”
Know More/Benoit photo