Instagrand, purchased for $1.2 million last spring, earned his first stakes victory with a 10 1/4-length romp in the Grade II, $200,000 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 11. Sparky Ville crossed the line in second, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Synthesis.
Sent off as the 1-9 favorite, Instagrand completed the 6 furlongs on the dirt in 1:10.27.
“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,” trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “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 (Del Mar) Futurity (on Sept. 3) for him, for sure.”
The 2-year-old colt is owned by OXO Equine LLC, which is the nom de course for Larry Best of Boston.
Other major races held during the week were the Grade III, $100,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap, won by Yuvetsi, and the $150,000 Solana Beach Stakes, conquered by Cordiality.
Among the highlights this weekend will be Del Mar’s signature race, the Grade I, $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, along with the Craft Beer Festival and the Turf & Surf BBQ Championship.