Baffert firsters vie at Del Mar

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 25th, 2018

Conditioner Bob Baffert has endured a fine Del Mar meeting to this point. He has saddled no fewer than eight winners to date, and six of those have come from first-time starters at the juvenile ranks.

Those winners have earned BRIS Speed numbers of 98, 96, 92, 92, 92 and 82, respectively. So it’s safe to say that the Hall of Fame conditioner has them cranked up this summer.

In Race 4 at Del Mar on Sunday, the silver-haired wizard has a pair of expensive in-training purchases going postward and I am pretty sure both will be live.

TALE OF THE UNION (#2) (5-2) is the second runner produced from Tanglewood Tale. The New York-bred colt brought the gavel down at $925,000 at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic, so I took notice.

The son of Union Rags was the second-highest priced lot sold at Timonium and he has not missed a morning drill since June. It’s not an assumption that a colt with this profile will run big at first asking for Baffert, it’s more of a conclusion.

MUCHO GUSTO (#3) (8-1) was the fourth-highest priced two-year-old coming out of the same Midlantic sale in Maryland. By young sire Mucho Macho Man, the chestnut colt has no black-type through his first two dams.

So for Mucho Gusto to command a $625,000 ticket price being by a $10,000 sire, the colt must be some kind of mover and physical specimen.

To me it’s not if Baffert will win this 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight contest. My only question is which one will come out on top and who will finish second?