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.
This year Baffert enters Gun Boat and Drill, two horses that will both making their Graded Stakes debut. Both horses had been mentioned before the meet began and going on to claim their maiden wins here at Del Mar. Drill was little frisky in the gate his 1st time out which led to an 8th place finish. In his 2nd career race last month however, his potential was evident in a convincing win from the inside post over 6 ½ furlongs. Owner Mike Pegram, will be going for his 3rd Del Mar Futurity win (all with Baffert) and first since Lookin at Lucky scored here in 2009. Gunboat will be making his 2nd career start and will jump to 7 furlongs after win over 5 ½ last month.
The second choice on the ML, and with good reason, is Majestic City, winner of the G3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship this summer. Finishing in 1:10.45 over the 6 Furlongs and winning by over 2 lengths is what put this colt where he is on the 2012 Kentucky Derby radar. Trained by Peter Miller and ridden by David Flores, Majestic City returns to the synthetics today for the first time since his most recent triumph. The strategy was to rest him up for his Grade 1 debut. After posting a 59 flat over 5F on September 1, he looks like he is holding form and ready to return. Today’s race will be his 4th career start
Standing in his way is another unbeaten colt, Creative Cause. This will be the 3rd lifetime start for this colt. The reason he gets the nod on the ML is because his last win was against a class above Majestic City’s best. On August 7th, Creative Cause won here at Del Mar in the G2 Best Pal Stakes. The odds makers must have looked closely at these two but favored the G2 win that came here at Del Mar only 30 days ago.
There are four other contenders racing in today’s Futurity. They are, Sheer Talent, a winner of his debut July 30, Mighty Monsoon, distant 3rd in the Best Pal, Corsa Di Cavalli, maiden-claimers winner, and Basmati, still a maiden — was beaten a head by Gun Boat on Aug. 6.
Grade 1 $250,000 Del Mar Futurity | 2 yr olds | 7 Furlongs | Synthetics PP Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
- Corsa Di Cavalli A. Quinonez J. Sadler 20-1
- Gun Boat M. Pedroza B. Baffert 8-1
- Sheer Talent V. Espinoza D. Hendricks 12-1
- Majestic City D. Flores P. Miller 5-2
- Basmati G. Gomez D. O’Neill 8-1
- Drill M. Garcia B. Baffert 7-2
- Mighty Monsoon J. Talamo J. Bonde 12-1
- Creative Cause R. Bejarano M. Harrington 9-5
As always, Del Mar completes a fantastic meet of summer racing. It’s an exciting way to end the meet, as today’s winner in the Grade 1 Stakes for 2 yr olds may be talked about quite a bit over the coming months and into the spring of 2012. So, good luck to all contenders in the Del Mar Futurity and best of luck to those that begin and continue on the trail to the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
Written by: Little Brink