08/13/2006 12:00AM

Principle Secret wins Best Pal

Principle Secret with Alex Solis up wins the Best Pal Stakes on Sunday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Principle Secret overcame an awkward start to score an emphatic victory on Sunday in the Grade 2, $150,000 for 2-year-olds at Del Mar.

Principle Secret ($4.80), the favorite, had prompted the pace in his debut victory here on July 22, but in the Best Pal was forced to rally from behind after "the ground broke out from under him" at the start, according to jockey Alex Solis.

But Principle Secret was able to get into a stalking position moving into the far turn, then roared past his rivals heading into the stretch and drew clear for a three-length win over Great Hunter, who rallied for second, 2 1/2 lengths in front of third-place Stormello.

For trainer Chris Paasch, Principle Secret continued the fabulous run of success he has had with 2-year-olds this summer, winning races at Hollywood Park, Del Mar, and even Saratoga with the New York-bred Baltimore Drive. This one, though, might have been the most special, because Paasch said it was the first time -- "after 250 starts," he said in a bit of hyperbole -- that his mother, Betty Hausman, 75, had been at the races when he won.

"I've been training 26 years," he said.

Principle Secret covered 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast main track in 1:16.15 to remain unbeaten after two starts. Principle Secret is a colt by Sea of Secrets. He was bred by Paasch and his wife, Bonnie, under their Victory Racing LLC banner, and raced in their colors in his first start. After that win, he was sold to Paasch's lone client, Charles Cono.

"You're a little nervous selling a horse to your principle client," Paasch said. "I was anxious."