08/04/2013 8:30PM

Del Mar: Alberts Hope delivers as favorite in Best Pal Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Alberts Hope, with Alonso Quinonez up, wins the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes by a half-length over Celtic Moon on Sunday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Trainer Mike Puype celebrated his 47th birthday in style Sunday at Del Mar by sending out two winners, including Alberts Hope, who tenaciously fought off a spirited bid from Celtic Moon to capture the Grade 2, $150,000 Best Pal Stakes for 2-year-olds.

Alberts Hope ($7), the favorite in a field of six, settled comfortably behind the contested pace of Alpine Luck and Guns Loaded, advanced toward the leaders on the turn, took the lead a furlong out, then had to hold off 11-1 shot Celtic Moon, who sneaked through along the rail and made Alberts Hope earn it.

At the wire, Alberts Hope prevailed by a half-length, with Guns Loaded another 2 1/4 lengths back in third. Ontology, Alpine Luck, and Skydreamin completed the order of finish.

Under Alonso Quinonez, Alberts Hope completed 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack in 1:16.71. He is 2 for 2, having defeated maidens in his debut at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 14 when ignored at 33-1.

“He was a pleasant surprise first time out because I didn’t push on him,” said Puype, who trains Alberts Hope for the Jaam Racing stable of Jason Tackitt. “I think there’s more there.”

With that in mind, Puype said the Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity on closing day, Sept. 4, would be next for Alberts Hope, a gelding by Run Away and Hide who cost just $40,000 when purchased at auction last October as a yearling. He won $90,000 on Sunday to bring his career total to $121,200.

“He owes nobody nothing after a win like this,” Puype said.

It made for quite the birthday present for Puype.

“It’ll be a good night,” Puype said. “This was a good day.”

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Visit and follow my blog at pittjj95.blogspot.com. Going to be blogging daily about sports including horse racing. Will be analyzing and handicapping races daily and full cards on weekends.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
You had to know this horse was live after his win first out. Puype doesn't win first out with his 2yr olds too often. with that being said I bet Ontology and he made a left turn out of the gate from the rail. Time for him to get a maiden victory. Looks to have talent, but if he keeps losing in stakes races its going to be tough to get the maiden score against developing 2 yr olds.
Marco Antonio Guerrero More than 1 year ago
ontology has drawn the rail 3 straight times and puype horse was a dead lock after he won first time and puype numbers 2nd time are exellent
Robert More than 1 year ago
Breeder Michael Riordan has been pumping out great yearlings for 30 years(Bates Motel, 1983 male horse of year)