Best Pal, Desormeaux to make Special return

April 16, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Best Pal, who finished a dismal fifth in the Preakness last year but is unbeaten in 1992, will run in the Pimlico Special May 9.

He will be ridden by his regular jockey, Kent Desormeaux, who was a sensation at Maryland tracks in the late 1980s before he transferred to the rich California circuit.

Best Pal was scheduled to arrive at Pimlico Race Course today. He was flown from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., to Louisville, Ky., yesterday. He then was transferred to a van for a 12-hour trip to Baltimore.

The 4-year-old gelding is owned by Mr. and Mrs. John Mabee and trained by Gary Jones. This year, he has won the San Fernando and Charles H. Strub stakes, the Santa Anita Handicap and, in his most recent start, the Oaklawn Handicap at Oaklawn Park.

He is the leader in the American Racing Championship series for older horses and has career earnings of $3,388,695.

Among the horses he is expected to face in the Pimlico Special is Twilight Agenda, the D. Wayne Lukas-trained horse whom he has beaten in his past two starts.

Pimlico management also announced that the Federico Tesio Stakes on April 25 might be televised on "ABC's Wide World of Sports," but only if John The Bold, a horse owned by Margaret McManus, the wife of ABC sportscaster Jim McKay, wins the race.

"Jim McKay will anchor a Kentucky Derby preview and the Derby Trial, which is run at Churchill Downs that day, from Pimlico, so that he can see John The Bold run," said Damon Thayer, director of media relations for Pimlico. "The Tesio will be shown, but only if John The Bold wins."

McKay and his wife live in Monkton. John The Bold is trained by Billy Boniface and recently prepped for the Tesio with a victory in the Deputed Testamony Stakes.

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