Kaleem Shah's Run Away was the dominant winner of Saturday's G2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar, crossing the wire 3 1/2 lengths in front of Dia de Pago under jockey Flavien Prat. The juvenile son of Run Away and Hide, trained by Simon Callaghan, covered 6 1/2 furlongs over the fast main track in 1:17.91 to earn his first graded stakes victory and remain undefeated.
“I knew he'd run well; he'd been training so well,” said Prat. “But I didn't really expect to win by that far. Simon (Callaghan) has done a great job with him, though, and he's a very talented colt, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Can he run farther? We don't know. We know he can run six and a half furlongs, so we'll enjoy that for a while.”
Run Away broke sharply but settled behind An Ocala Ten, angled just off the rail by Prat. An Ocala Ten moved out to a one-length lead, setting fractions of :22.13 and :45.10, as Run Away and Arawak followed in close pursuit. It was several lengths back to Master Ruler and the favored Serengeti from there.
Mid-way through the far turn, Run Away sidled up beside An Ocala Ten, then exploded away from that rival to turn from home with a two-length lead. All the way down the stretch, Run Away continued to extend his lead under little urging, crossing the wire for a 3 1/2-length margin of victory. Dia de Pago rallied after a slow break to finish second, and Fleetwood finished third. Master Ruler finished fourth.
“I think it was even better than his last race,” said Callaghan. “He's got great gate speed but he isn't one of those horses that is speed crazy. I thought he'd get over this track well. I was a little nervous when he put in a slow breeze (5 furlongs, 1:03.60 a week earlier) when I was in Saratoga. But my team here assured me that it was a good breeze. He's just a cool horse – fast, very mature and I think he's going to get better as we stretch out. The Futurity is next.”
Bred in Kentucky by Erv Woolsey and Ralph Kinder, Run Away was a $35,000 yearling purchase at the OBS August sale. He was pinhooked through the Barretts March 2-year-old in training sale to bring a final bid of $325,000, and rewarded his connections with a win in his first start. A listed stakes win in the Santa Anita Juvenile had Run Away off as the second-choice in the Best Pal, and the win improved his career record to three wins from three starts, with earnings of over $200,000.
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