08/05/2012 9:03PM

Del Mar: Reddam first-time starter takes Grade 2 Best Pal

Benoit & Associates
Know More, an unraced maiden ridden by Garrett Gomez, captures the Best Pal.

DEL MAR, Calif. – One of the reasons owner Paul Reddam has been such a success in business and in racing is that he will do what appears to be unconventional, but there are sound methods to what appears to be madness.

His derring-do was on display earlier this year, when I’ll Have Another returned from a five-month layoff and won the Robert Lewis Stakes, propelling the colt to a journey that resulted in victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

And on Sunday at Del Mar, Reddam decided to try an unraced maiden in the Grade 2, $150,000 Best Pal Stakes, an opinion he backed with his own cash, one of the reasons Know More paid just 8-1 after outrunning seven other 2-year-olds to win a graded stakes in his very first start.

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“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.”

From there, jockey Garrett Gomez kept Know More ($19.20) in the clear, and he rallied from sixth at the top of the stretch to win by a half-length over Heir Kitty, a filly who beat her Peter Miller-trained stablemate, Miss Empire – another filly – by 1 1/4 lengths for second.

Heir of Storm was fourth and was followed, in order, by Scherer Magic, Amarish, Moreno, and K Court.

Scherer Magic, the unbeaten winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, was sent off the even-money favorite, and attracted $115,800 out of $175,959 in the show pool. With him running out, the show prices were inflated, with Know More paying $9.80, Heir Kitty $10.60, and Miss Empire $13.40.

Know More, a colt by Lion Heart, completed 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack in 1:16.14.

Like I’ll Have Another – who finished second in last year’s Best Pal -- Know More is trained by Doug O’Neill.

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

Reddam acknowledged that he backed his opinion at the windows.

“I did bet,” he said. “That’s what we’re here for. That’s how the racetrack survives.”