Saturday's notable 2-year-old maidens: 3rd at Del Mar
Del Mar's 3RD race, 6 1/2 furlongs, 6:09 p.m. (EDT)
All seven entrants are nominated to the Del Mar Futurity (G1).
Young Brian, a John Liviakis homebred, was set a very lofty reserve at Barretts in March. That's why he didn't reach it despite attracting a top bid of $500,000. The Hard Spun colt is out of a Pulpit mare from the extended family of champion Outstandingly and Grade 1 hero Sky Mesa, tracing to the branch of the *La Troienne tribe responsible for Buckpasser. Young Brian wasn't helped by drawing the rail in his debut, but trainer Phil D'Amato wins with 21% of his firsters.
Toews on Ice was another pricey RNA at Barretts March, led out unsold for $340,000. The Bob Baffert pupil tired to third in his debut at Del Mar, an understandable result for a May 7 foal. But it was all the more so since he vied early through quick fractions on the testing, sloppy track. He's eligible to move forward substantially for a trainer who connects at a 24% rate second time out. From the first crop of Archarcharch, Toews on Ice was produced by Grade 3-placed juvenile Wild Forest Cat, a D'Wildcat half-sister to stakes winners Glitter City and Here's Johnny.
The Doug O'Neill-trained Kelly with a Twist ran evenly when fourth in his mutual debut with Toews on Ice. Inbred to the influential Fappiano, the son of High Cotton is out of a half-sister to multiple stakes victor Sea of Green, from the immediate family of Grade 1 queen Rigoletta and female sprint champ Musical Romance.
O'Neill unveils perhaps a better prospect in Archaeo, a $140,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida purchase who will be ridden by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens. The Arch colt is out of the well-bred Design for Life, whose first foal was himself a winner at two. The mare is an Aptitude half-sister to Group 3 victress Dance Dress (herself the dam of multiple Grade 2 queen Costume). This is the immediate family of current sophomore Epicuris, a Group 1 hero at two, and from the family of French classic winners Matiara and Indonesienne.
Letithappen, third as the 2-5 favorite in his Oak Tree at Pleasanton premiere, adds blinkers now for Jeff Bonde. The $110,000 OBS April two-year-old may find his ultimate home on turf, as a three-quarter brother to Hollywood Derby (G1) winner Ultimate Eagle. But that accomplished relative also romped in the Strub (G2) on dirt. Sire Mizzen Mast was versatile himself. Letithappen's dam, the Hold That Tiger mare Letithappentiger, set a course record on the Evangeline turf. Second dam Letithappencaptain won stakes on both turf and dirt.
Salutation, who weakened to fifth in his debut here, should improve. The $350,000 Keeneland September yearling is by Medaglia d'Oro and out of an A.P. Indy half-sister to turf star Honey Ryder. With that pedigree, the Jim Cassidy trainee may already want two turns.
Iron Rob, fourth in his unveiling in the same race, makes his second start for George Papaprodromou. By freshman sire Twirling Candy, he's out of a full sister to multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Leah's Secret. His dam is also a half-sister to Grey (G3) victor Bear Tough Guy. Further back in the line, one finds Hall of Famer Lady's Secret.