Race Preview: Del Mar Futurity – Del Mar, September 4, 2013

Matt Carter

September 4th, 2013


photo: Matt Carter

The traditional closing day feature at Del Mar is upon us, the 66th running of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. This year the seven furlong sprint drew a field of 11 and contention runs deep. The morning line favorite for the race at 7-2 is the Best Pal winner, Alberts Hope.

Alberts Hope was dead on the board in his debut, but instead of running like a 33-1 shot, he ran like a 1-33 shot, stalking the pace then drawing off to win by a widening three-quarters of a length. The race was a key one as both the second and third place finishers came back to win their next start. Alberts Hope also won his next start, the Grade 2 Best Pal over the Del Mar track. While the gelded son of Run Away and Hide is the one to beat, he is not invincible.

Skydreamin, Dance With Fate, Celtic Moon, Alpine Luck, Rum Point and Guns Loaded have all been beat by Alberts Hope at one point in their short career. Idexical was beat by Guns Loaded in his debut, which leaves a trio that has not in some way shape or form been defeated by the favorite; Can the Man, California Chrome and Tamarando.

Can the Man may have the most upside of the three off his smashing debut win last month over the track. The son of Into Mischief cost $320,000 as a two-year-old in training and was able to make back $45,000 of that when winning his maiden. The only caveat is that second time starters off maiden wins have not come back that sharp for trainer Bob Baffert. The talent is there, but how much that first race took out of him is the question.

California Chrome is the most accomplished of the three with two wins, including a win last out in the state-bred Graduation Stakes. If California Chrome runs back to that race, he will be tough to beat. His last race speed figure is second best only to Idexical.

Tamarando is the late threat and with seven furlongs the distance, he may be running by them all at the end. The son of Bertrando is a half-brother to three other horses, all winners, two of them stakes-type horses. Half-brother U’narack, by Unusual Heat, won the Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar on August 2. This is a step up in class from a California-bred maiden special weight race, but he has the talent and the pedigree to handle it.

Post time for the Del Mar Futurity on Wednesday is 8:40 pm ET and that’s it for Del Mar!