How to bet the 2022 Del Mar Futurity

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

September 11th, 2022

An excellent field of nine two-year-olds will go postward in Sunday’s $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (G1). Trainer Bob Baffert has saddled the winner of this race on a staggering 15 occasions, and he will send out a formidable trio in search of number 16.

#6 Newgate (4-1) might be less ballyhooed than his stable companions at this stage of his development, but I loved what I saw from him on debut and will give him the nod in his second appearance. By top sire Into Mischief, the $850,000 yearling purchase went postward at odds of 1-2 in his initial outing on July 30 and didn’t disappoint, drawing clear to a 3 1/2-length tally under the wire.

The Kentucky-bred colt pressed a swift tempo in that heat before proving much the best late while under a hand ride, suggesting that he has a lot more to offer going forward. March foal shows five fine morning drills since that effort, led by a sizzling six-furlong move on the surface last weekend, and he seems poised for improvement while luring John Velazquez back in the silks.

Baffert’s #7 Cave Rock (6-5) couldn’t have looked much better than he did at first go when posting a six-length debut tally in gate-to-wire fashion. The expensive son of Arrogate was never challenged in that 6 1/2-furlong dash and will be set for another positive experience at a distance that will pose no trouble for him. The dark bay has posted a trio of solid morning moves in advance of his stakes bow and will retain the services of Juan Hernandez.

#8 Havnameltdown (4-1), the third Baffert trainee in the cast, has yet to be headed from a pair of lifetime tries to date, led by a decisive score in the Best Pal S. (G3) here last time out. $200,000 son of Uncaptured received a great draw outside of the other pace in the field, and if he can rate some early on, then the Florida-bred colt will be in a prime spot at the top of the stretch on Sunday. Mike Smith picking up the mount is another positive for the bay.

Of the others in the group, I really liked the first-out victory posted by Phil D’Amato’s #1 Classical Cat (8-1). By young sire Mendelssohn, the February foal came home well after tracking the early tempo in that tilt, and he could benefit most if the pace backs up in the lane beneath Umberto Rispoli. I will use the $65,000 yearling purchase in the exotics at an expected fair price. 

Del Mar Futurity Wagers

  • $30 win #6 Newgate ($30)
  • $1 superfecta 6 with 7,8 with 1,7,8 with all ($24)