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DEL MAR

Perfect Moon Is Best Pal Winner

August 18, 2003|Bob Mieszerski

DEL MAR — The last and only time trainer Mel Stute won the Del Mar Futurity was 1975 when Telly's Pop, owned by the late actor Telly Savalas and Howard Koch, won under jockey Francisco Mena.

Whether the trainer, who turned 76 on Aug. 8, can win the race 28 years later remains to be seen, but he will be represented in the Futurity on Sept. 10, the final day of the meet.

Following up on his win in last month's Hollywood Juvenile Championship, Perfect Moon -- who is owned by Stute's wife, Annabelle, and The Hat Ranch -- defeated 10-1 shot Capitano and eight other 2-year-olds in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes on Sunday at Del Mar.

Purchased for $4,700 by Stute last fall, the gelded son of Malibu Moon, who also was trained by Stute, won by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:16.90 for the 6 1/2 furlongs.

The win was the third in seven starts for Perfect Moon, the 7-2 third choice who was ridden by Patrick Valenzuela.

Siphonizer, the 9-5 favorite, was fifth.

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Ending a six-race losing streak, Disturbingthepeace, a 6-1 shot, led virtually every step of the way to become the first repeat winner in the $150,000 Pat O'Brien Handicap

Owned by Herrick Racing and David and Rita Milch, the 5-year-old Bold Badgett gelding, who had been winless since his victory at 7-10 in the 2002 O'Brien, defeated Rushin' to Altar by two lengths in 1:21.53 for the seven furlongs.

Trained by Darrell Vienna and ridden by Victor Espinoza, the California-bred won for the eighth time in 22 starts.

Bluesthestandard, the 3-2 favorite, finished seventh.

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