Baffert duo looms large in Del Mar Futurity
A compact field of six will go postward in the seven-furlong, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (G1) on Labor Day. The sprint tilt for two-year-olds attracted a few fine youngsters, but I think that the race will ultimately come down to the pair from the barn of Bob Baffert, who has saddled the winner of this race on an incredible 14 separate occasions.
#4 Pinehurst got a true test in his debut run when eventually coming out on top following a long stretch duel on the surface. The $385,000 yearling purchase, who was bet down to 8-5, overcame a tricky rail post in that five-furlong run and figures to thrive both with a better post and more ground with which to work with here.
The son of Twirling Candy has posted three solid morning moves in the interim, including two at six furlongs to build hit fitness level in advance of his stakes bow. Bred in Kentucky, the April foal retains the services of Mike Smith and is my narrow top selection.
Baffert’s #5 Murray couldn’t have looked much better than he did at first asking, when the youngster drove home a dazzling 10-length winner on the strip. The son of Street Sense displayed early foot and a punishing late kick on that occasion, and I have total confidence that the Kentucky-bred colt will excel with additional distance as he matures.
Murray should be ready to roll on Monday after four local morning moves, including one from the gate two prior. The dark bay colt will have no excuses in drawing outside of his major foes in the Futurity. Flavien Prat stays in the silks atop the February foal.
Best Pal S. (G2) romper #1 Pappacap warrants respect for Mark Casse following two easy tallies to kickstart his career, as does Saratoga import #6 American Xperiment, who romped on debut at the Spa, but I don’t expect either to be in a winning position inside the final furlong against the Baffert pair.
Del Mar Futurity Wagers
- $30 exacta 4 with 5 ($30)
- $20 exacta 5 with 4 ($20)
- $5 superfecta 4,5 with 4,5 with 1,6 with 1,6 ($20)