08/02/2012 4:41PM

Del Mar: O'Neill sending first-timer in Best Pal


DEL MAR, Calif. - Every 2-year-old colt that starts for owner Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill this summer will be heavily scrutinized.

Their runners have earned such attention because Reddam and O’Neill won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes earlier this year with the now-retired I’ll Have Another.

Last summer, I’ll Have Another finished second in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar. In Sunday’s $150,000 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs, Reddam and O’Neill are running the first-time starter Know More.

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It is an assignment that O’Neill thinks Know More can handle.

“It’s not the conventional way, but what a really nice colt,” O’Neill said.

Purchased for $210,000 at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training, Know More is by Lion Heart. He has worked steadily in recent weeks and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez on Sunday.

“Garrett has worked him a few times and has gotten to know him well,” O’Neill said.

There are two open maiden special weight races for 2-year-olds at Del Mar on Saturday. O’Neill considered running Know More in those races, but has opted for the more lucrative Best Pal. Reddam and O’Neill will start Kripke, a colt by Majestic Warrior, in one of those maiden races.

“At this time of year, the stakes and the maidens, there really isn’t that much difference,” O’Neill said. “He acts like the best, so we’ll put him in the stakes.”

Asked if he thinks Know More has the ability to start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita in November, O’Neill said it is possible.

“He acts like a special colt,” he said. “Hopefully he can do in the afternoon what he does in the morning.”

The Best Pal Stakes has a field of eight. The favorite will be Scherer Magic, who won the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 14.