Kaleem Shah’s Klimt used a victory in the Best Pal Stakes as a springboard to another in the Del Mar Futurity and honors as 2-year-old of the meeting in 2016.
Now the founder and president of CalNet technology company, who maintains residences in San Diego and Vienna, Virginia, is seeking to repeat the initial step when he sends out Run Away in Saturday’s 47th running of the Grade II $ 200,000 Best Pal.
Klimt was trained by Bob Baffert, with whom Shah parted company at the beginning of the year. Run Away is trained by Simon Callaghan.
“Obviously, we’re hoping that (Run Away) can show he’s as good a horse as Klimt,” Callaghan said recently. “He’s got to step forward again, but I think there’s every chance he will.”
A Kentucky-bred son of Run Away and Hide, Run Away was a $ 325,000 purchase at the Barretts sale in March and has been undefeated in two career starts. He took a 4 ½-furlong maiden special at Santa Anita in May by 2 ¼ lengths and came back to win the 5 ½-furlong Santa Anita Juvenile Championship in July by 1 ½ lengths.
Run Away has had four workouts in the past month here.
“He’s doing really well,” Callaghan said. “He drew the No. 1 hole, which we wouldn’t have chosen, but except for that … He’s got lots of speed and he’s quick away from the gate, so I think he’ll place himself on or close to the lead.
“We’ve got him ready and I think he’s the one to beat. We’ve always thought he was a good horse, but it was good to see in his second race that he’s willing to battle and he wore the other horse down, fought off of him and was pulling away at the end.
“It’s what you like to see from one race to another, that development mentally.”
Chief among Run Away’s rivals in the field of eight: Baffert-trained Serengeti, an 11-length winner in his second career start in June at Santa Anita.
The field from the rail: Run Away (Flavien Prat, 8-5), Dia De Pago (Corey Nakatani, 20-1), Master Ruler (Evin Roman, 15-1), Armour Plate (Rafael Bejarano, 10-1), Serengeti (Mike Smith, 9-5), Fleetwood (Kent Desormeaux, 10-1), Arawak (Julio Garcia, 4-1) and An Ocala Ten (Victor Espinoza, 15-1).
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