Beau Recall is back to defend her title in Saturday’s $150,000 Yellow Ribbon H. (G2) at Del Mar and is likely to inherit the favorite’s role after reports that Jolie Olimpica would scratch from the 1 1/16-mile grass event for fillies and mares.
Only ninth in her season debut at Churchill, Beau Recall rebounded with a stronger effort in the June 27 Just a Game (G1) at Belmont, splitting the Chad Brown-trained pair of Newspaperofrecord and reigning champion turf mare Uni.
Keeper Ofthe Stars surprisingly edged Jolie Olimpica in the Buena Vista (G2), but proved that race was no fluke with a follow-up victory in the Gamely (G1) over Bodhicitta. However, the gray enters off a dull fifth-place effort in the Wilshire (G3) and is 0-for-3 over the Del Mar turf.
Lady Prancealot, a three-time graded winner last season, including the American Oaks (G1), was fourth in the Buena Vista and fifth in the Gamely in two earlier runs this term.
Although cross-entered in Friday’s Saratoga Special (G2), Roderick will reportedly head west from his Keeneland base for the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (G2) over 6 furlongs. The juvenile son of Into Mischief, trained by Wesley Ward, convincingly won at first asking by more than eight lengths at Belmont over Zippy Baby, a next-out graduate over the turf at Saratoga.
The only stakes veteran in the field is the aptly-named Herd Immunity, a distant third to early Saratoga Special favorite Cazadero in the Bashford Manor (G3) at Churchill Downs in late June. The Peter Miller trainee previously won on debut over Sonic Brees at Santa Anita.
Besides Sonic Brees, the Best Pal lineup includes other last-out maiden winners Weston, Schnell, and Girther. Ambivalent is the only maiden in the field following a runner-up finish to Weston on June 21 at Santa Anita.