Month: September 2011

Closing Day Highlighted by the Del Mar Futurity

Majestic City with David Flores Returns

It may be closing day to another successful racing meet at Del Mar but one Grade 1 with Kentucky Derby implications still remains. Race 8 on today’s 10 race card is the G1 $250,000 Del Mar Futurity for 2 yr olds. Similar to the Hopeful Stakes on Monday, the winner will represent the West Coast and move on to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile via the “Win & You’re In” series. The feature race is highlighted by the 9 time winning trainer versus two young colts that haven’t lost yet.

In 1996, an improbable streak began when Bob Baffert accompanied his champion colt Silver Charm into the winner’s circle of the Del Mar Futurity. The next time the race would end without Baffert as the winner was 2003. That’s right, 7 consecutive years he won this 2 yr old Grade 1. Since that streak ended, Baffert returned with back to back winners in 2009 – 10, bringing his total number of wins to 9, more than any other trainer all time. Even though his first winner was the only colt who came back the following the year and won the Kentucky Derby, history shows today’s winner has the potential to follow suit. (more…)

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Saratoga – Hopeful Stakes: 2-Year-Olds Enter First G1

The Kentucky Derby is still 8 months out but the trail has already begun. Ten juveniles are ready to take their first pivotal step on Monday when they attempt to capture their first Graded Stakes win in the $250,000 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. Along with gaining the early spotlight, also in play and up for grabs is an automatic entry into the G1 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile via the “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

The road to the Kentucky Derby is extensive and strenuous and always full of surprises. The allure of the Triple Crown has a lot to do with just how fascinating it is to see these young horses progress so quickly. While it’s not uncommon for some to fizzle out in their 3 yr old season after a hot start at 2, there are those that never seem to stop progressing. The true handicappers and Kentucky Derby fanatics, like us, are always searching to find that horse as early as possible. So even though the trail is long, a winner can be found at just about anywhere, at anytime. It’s got to start somewhere and the Hopeful is it for this field. (more…)