08/06/2012 2:23PM

Del Mar: Know More cautiously pointed to Del Mar Futurity

Benoit & Associates
Know More (center) wins the Grade 2 Best Pal in his career debut.

Know More, the winner of the Best Pal Stakes in his racing debut on Sunday at Del Mar, will be pointed to the Grade 1, $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on closing day here on Sept. 5, trainer Doug O’Neill said after the race, but he and owner Paul Reddam said they are not going to force anything with a 2-year-old colt who is talented but lacks experience.

"We’ll think that direction. But we don’t need to be in a hurry," Reddam said. "None of this counts toward next year anyway."

Reddam was referring to the change in rules for the Kentucky Derby, which go into effect for next year’s race. Whereas graded stakes earnings used to be the criteria for the 20-horse field, the new rules use a point-based system, and are weighted far more toward races run next spring. So while a race like the Del Mar Futurity is still a prestigious Grade 1, it’s not as if the money earned in that race, or the Best Pal, will count toward getting into the Derby.

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Reddam and O’Neill won this year’s Derby, as well as the Preakness, with I’ll Have Another, who is currently taking up residence in Japan, where he will begin stud duty next spring. Reddam, standing next to his wife, Zillah, in the winner’s circle joked that the names of I’ll Have Another and Know More are related.

"I’ll Have Another? That’s what I said," Reddam said. "She said, ‘Know More.’ "

Know More was entered in the Best Pal because Reddam also had the unstarted maiden Kripke, also trained by O’Neill, set for a start last weekend, too.

"We didn’t want to run them against each other," Reddam said. "We knew this one could beat the other one, so we decided to run that one in the maiden race, and this one here."

Kripke finished fourth in his race on Saturday.

"It’s kind of crazy to run an unraced horse in a Grade 2," Reddam said, "but we didn’t think the 2-year-olds were out of this world so far, and we got lucky with an outside draw."

Said O’Neill: "We’re blessed to have three or four good maidens right now, and we’re trying to keep them separated. We thought he was the best one."

Reddam bought Know More, a son of Lion Heart, as a yearling for $80,000. He was entered in the Barretts sale in May, but was bought back by Reddam for $210,000.

"We liked him," said Reddam, who uses O’Neill’s brother, Dennis, as an advisor. "We didn’t want to let him go too cheap. We decided we were not going to let him go unless we got a crazy number."

O’Neill is the meet’s leading trainer after three weeks, with 12 victories from 49 starts. Peter Miller is next with 9.

O’Neill is scheduled to begin a 45-day suspension on Aug. 19, the result of a ruling against him from the California Horse Racing Board for having a horse test for an excessive amount of total carbon dioxide at Del Mar two years ago.

Garrett Gomez, who rode Know More, is second in the jockeys’ race with 21 wins, 2 back of Rafael Bejarano.

* Chantal Sutherland is away all week in order to compete in Great Britain in an international jockey competition at Ascot on Saturday.