Heavily Favored Instagrand Puts On A Show In Best Pal - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Heavily Favored Instagrand Puts On A Show In Best Pal

OXO Equine’s Instagrand and jockey Drayden Van Dyke, right, pull away from the field and go on to win the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes, Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.© BENOIT PHOTO

OXO Equine's Instagrand cost $1.2 million at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-year-old sale, and on Saturday the colt built his resume to two wins from two starts when he dominated the G2 Best Pal Stakes by open lengths at Del Mar. A juvenile son of Into Mischief, Instagrand covered six furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.27 while never asked by jockey Drayden Van Dyke. The talented colt, favored at 1-9, is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.

A ten-length winner in his career debut June 29 at Los Alamitos, Instagrand went to the gate at 1-9 and ran to his odds as he scored by ten and one-quarter lengths under jockey Drayden Van Dyke, seemingly with much in reserve. Leading from the break, he completed six furlongs in 1:10.27. Fractional times were :23 flat for the first quarter, :46.54 at the half and :58.17 for five furlongs. Thus, the winner ran his last quarter in less than 24 seconds while under only mild urging.

Sparky Ville, a 14-1 longshot under Gary Stevens, rallied for runner-up honors, three and one-quarter lengths in front of Synthesis, with Owning a fading fourth after pressing the pace of the winner in the early stages. Mason Dixon was fifth and last.

Instagrand, a bay colt by Into Mischief bred in Kentucky, was bought by Larry Best of Boston, Massachusetts who races as OXO Equine at the Fasig-Tipton Florida sale of two-year-olds in training. Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer trains Instagrand, who will now be pointed to the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs on closing day, Sept. 3.

Instagrand earned $120,000 with his Best Pal victory, increasing his bankroll to $144,000. To his backers, he paid $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10. Because of strong wagering on the colt, there was a minus place pool of $572 and a minus show pool of $76,911.

Second-place Sparky Ville paid $4.80 and $3.60, while Synthesis returned $4.20 to show.

DRAYDEN VAN DYKE ((Instagrand, winner) – “I haven't been getting on him in the morning (since he rode him to victory in his first start on June 29 at Los Alamitos). But they told me he was ready. Oh, yeah. I just threw a couple of crosses at him today; that's all. Cadillac. I wanted to see if he'd change leads on his own, but in the end I just gave it a little weight shift (to the inside) and he made a perfect change.  He's got the mind of a 4- or 5-year-old. Professional.”

GARY STEVENS (Sparky Ville, second) – “He beat 'em all, but one. Don't even ask me if I could see the winner.”

KENT DESORMEAUX (Synthesis, third) – “He tried. That's all I can say – he tried.”

JERRY HOLLENDORFER (Instagrand, winner) – “I was a little bit worried (with the delay at the gate); some of the colts were acting up, but then they got them in there. He broke good even though he had been standing in there awhile, then Drayden (Van Dyke) got this colt to relax and he did his thing. I think it is an improvement (over his debut race) in that he did it so much easier. We'll look at the Futurity for him, for sure.”

FRACTIONS:  :23.00  :46.54  :58.17  1:10.27

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