They’ll Think Cobalt Blue

Owner Merv Griffin and trainer Doug O’Neill had the best 2-year-old in the country last year, winning the Del Mar Futurity, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and an Eclipse Award with Stevie Wonderboy.

Griffin and O’Neill hope to have a repeat performance with Cobalt Blue, a Golden Missile colt who will make the second start of his career in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes today at Del Mar. A Grade II stakes race at 6 1/2 furlongs, the Best Pal is a prep for the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 6.

Purchased for $325,000 earlier this year, Cobalt Blue was successful in his debut, scoring by a neck on June 8 at Hollywood Park. That victory came at five furlongs and he acts like a colt who will improve with additional distance.

Ridden by the now-sidelined Patrick Valenzuela in his first start, Cobalt Blue will be ridden today by apprentice Martin Garcia and is the 7-2 second choice on Jeff Tufts’ morning line.


The 5-2 favorite is Great Hunter, an Aptitude colt who was second to the unbeaten E Z Warrior in the Hollywood Juvenile last month in his first start for O’Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam.

O’Neill also entered longshot Stella’s Posada. The other Best Pal probables are Mr. Negotiator, Hot Flame, Principle Secret, Stomello and Divide And Conquer.

Race of the day: Golden Commander, who has won three of four starts on the turf at Saratoga, is among a dozen New York breds scheduled to run 1 1/8 miles today in the $100,000 West Point Handicap.

One for the road: Storm Rolling In won big when able to control the pace and looks to be in the same kind of situation today in the second race at Arlington Park. Robby Albarado will ride the 3-year-old Catienus filly for owner-breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Ronny Werner in the $31,000 allowance at one mile. Storm Rolling In won by six lengths at the same distance under the same rider July 22.


Exotically speaking: A pick three using Greg The Closer and Risen River in the fourth, Helmsgold, Nancy’s Rose and Mudd In Yer Eye in the fifth and Miracle Maker and Cousin Joe in the sixth.

Winners: (previous day/meet total): 0/61. Money: (previous day/meet total): $0/$339.40. Total money bet: $376.