Nyquist the one to beat but some new faces await in Del Mar Futurity
Nyquist can stake a claim as the best 2yo male in training with a victory in Monday’s $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (G1). A son of Uncle Mo, the Doug O’Neill-trained colt heads a field of eight in the closing-day feature.
Purchased for $400,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida March 2yo sale, Nyquist captured his debut at Santa Anita on June 5 and was bet down to even-money favoritism in the August 8 Best Pal (G2) at Del Mar. The Reddam Racing colorbearer delivered a spectacular 5 ¼-length victory, registering a whopping 102 BRIS Speed rating as well as a 106 Late Pace number.
The bay colt possesses plenty of tactical speed and figures to be up close from the start beneath regular rider Mario Gutierrez.
Blameitonthelaw could provide a stiff test for the well-regarded favorite. Conditioned by John Sadler, Blameitonthelaw recorded an eye-catching performance when making his debut at Del Mar on August 2, netting a 97 BRIS Speed rating while scoring by an easy 4 ¼ lengths. The Blame colt cost $320,000 at the OBS March sale earlier this year and will keep Tyler Baze in the saddle.
Bob Baffert won his record 12th Del Mar Futurity with American Pharoah last year and the Hall of Fame trainer will seek a baker’s dozen with Mt Veeder. A son of Ghostzapper, the chestnut opened his racing career with a 2 ¼-length maiden special weight victory on August 15 and Martin Garcia will be back aboard the speedy colt.
Swipe and Annie’s Candy, the second- and third-place finishers from the Best Pal, will both return for the Futurity. Rockin Bayou, a Louisiana-bred son of Forefathers who won at first asking over a rare sloppy track at Del Mar on July 18, is also part of the line-up along with maidens Archaeo and Nightly News.
The stakes action kicks off Monday with the $80,000 Pirate’s Bounty, a six-furlong event featuring a full cast of 12. Stakes victor Spirit Rules appears to be the horse to beat off a 6 ¾-length score over allowance/optional claiming foes that garnered a 105 BRIS Speed rating.
The $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf follows the Futurity and attracted a capacity field of 12 for a mile on turf. The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Imflatoutsweet must be considered formidable after a sharp 2 ½-length maiden tally over course and distance.
Nyquist winning the Best Pal courtesy of Benoit Photo