Mor Spirit hands Baffert record eighth win in Los Alamitos Futurity

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Jen Caldwell

December 20th, 2015

Mor Spirit wasn’t able to get over the stakes hurdle in his first try last out in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs, but on Saturday the dark bay juvenile surged past stablemate Toews on Ice in the $350,500 Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) to give trainer Bob Baffert a record eighth win the contest.

Previously contested at Hollywood Park where Baffert picked up six trophies, the race was moved to Los Alamitos last year. Baffert continued his winning ways at the new venue when saddling Dortmund to victory, and this time around had two chances to score.

Toews on Ice pressed the early pace in the 1 1/16-mile contest through splits of :23.09, :47.12 and 1:11.53 set by Frank Conversation. The Archarcharch colt took over rounding the turn and held the lead upon hitting the stretch.

Mor Spirit, on the other hand, took up a stalking spot just behind the leading pair. Jockey Gary Stevens had to fight with his rank mount in the early goings of the race but finally got him settled about three-to-four wide down the backstretch.

Mor Spirit began his move about the same time as Toews on Ice and entered the stretch four wide. Setting his sights on his stablemate, the Eskendereya ridgling drifted in a bit as he drew even with Toews on Ice before running on past to finish 1 1/4 lengths the best.

Sent off the 3-4 favorite, Mor Spirit stopped the clock in 1:43.54 to earn his first stakes victory. He also took home 10 points toward a starting berth in next year’s Kentucky Derby (G1), as the Los Alamitos Futurity was the final 2015 race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series of points races.

Toews on Ice was best of the rest, six lengths up on I’malreadythere to earn four points toward a starting berth in next year’s Run for the Roses. Third garnered two points and Urlacher in fourth received one point.

Mor Spirit is now 4-2-2-0, $288,400 in his career after running second in the Kentucky Jockey Club and breaking his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths. The Pennsylvania-bred is from the same female family as Grade 1 heroine and Breeders’ Cup Distaff runner-up Stellar Wind.

Mor Spirit photo courtesy of Benoit Photos