An ‘Insta’-Star in the Best Pal?

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Instagrand | Benoit

It isn’t often that a 2-year-old can scare off his or her competition this early in this season, but that appears to be the case with OXO Equine’s Instagrand (Into Mischief) in Saturday’s GII Best Pal S. at Del Mar, as just four rivals have lined up to challenge the ultra-impressive ‘TDN Rising Star’.

Opening his account June 29 at Los Alamitos as a universal good thing at 2-5, the $1.2 million Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream buy shook off some early pace pressure and blew the doors off of his five rivals in the stretch, coasting home a 10-length victor while rattling off a final furlong split in a sizzling :11.19. The bay has registered four easy workouts in the interim, capped by a half-mile spin in :50 flat (21/29) here Aug. 7.

Reddam Racing’s Owning (Flashback) made an adventure out of his OBS April breeze, zig-zagging about the track while still managing to stop the clock in :10 1/5 for one furlong. He showed some of that greenness, but also plenty of ability, with a debut score July 8 at Los Alamitos and looms as the main danger to the chalk.

Mason Dixon (Union Rags) looks to double up at the Del Mar meet. Debuting for a $150,000 tag July 21, the $110,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic buy rallied from well back to just get up late at over 11-1. The Doug O’Neill trainee figures to be the main beneficiary if things get hot on the front end here.

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