Published Saturday, September 4th, 2021   ( 2 years ago )

6 in Futurity; 9 in Juvenile Turf as Del Mar Wraps Up Monday

Pinehurst | Benoit Photo

Pinehurst © Benoit Photo

The curtain comes ringing down on a highly successful Del Mar race meeting Labor Day Monday with a pair of juvenile stakes races topping the bill – the championship caliber Grade I Runhappy Del Mar Futurity and the Del Mar Juvenile Turf.

There will be 10 races offered on the holiday with an early first post of 1:30 p.m. The Juvenile Fillies Turf will run as Race 9 a bit after 5 p.m. and the Runhappy Futurity will follow as Race 10 shortly after 5:30.

A half-dozen well-bred and well-meant colts will put on a show in the $300,000 Futurity, which will be contested at its usual distance of seven furlongs. No fewer than three Hall of Fame trainers will take a crack at this 74th edition of the race including one – Bob Baffert – who is known as Mr. Futurity in these parts.

Baffert, who has two runners for the race, has won Del Mar’s top event for 2-year-olds 14 times, starting with his champion Silver Charm in 1996. The other two Hall of Famers – Mark Casse and Steve Assmussen – each have a single entrant in the extended sprint, but in both cases they’ve come loaded for bear.

Baffert’s pair are SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Golconda Stable, Stonestreet Stable, et al’s Murray and SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Stonestreet Stables, et al’s Pinehurst. Both were impressive straight maiden winners earlier in the Del Mar meet and, with Baffert’s mo-jo behind them, both will draw many eyes and heavy action Monday.

Casse’s runner is Best Pal Stakes winner Pappacap, who is a homebred for Rustlewood Farm and Asmussen’s starter is Downstream Racing’s American Xperiment, who won smartly in a straight maiden race at Saratoga on July 30.

The Juvenile Turf drew nine 2-year-old for a mile spin on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course with a $100,000 purse as a target for them to shoot at.

The morning line favorite in the race is Sierra Racing or Sterling Stables’ Silver Surfer, a gray gelding who has been racing exclusively in Ireland and came stateside to trainer Phil D’Amato’s barn in July. He’s listed at 5/2 to capture the 10th running of the stakes, which serves as a prep for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf scheduled to be run at Del Mar on November 5.

Here are the full fields for both races with riders and morning line odds:

Runhappy Del Mar Futurity – Pappacap (Joe Bravo, 3-1); Opas or Sinatra’s Olympic Legend (Jose Valdivia, Jr., 12-1); Lovingier, Fasihuddin or Navarro’s Finneus (Tiago Pereira, 12-1); Pinehurst (Mike Smith, 5/2); Murray (Flavien Prat, 2-1), and American Xperiment (Umberto Rispoli, 5/2).

Del Mar Juvenile Turf – Silver Surfer (Bravo); Paradise Farms, Staudachere, et al’s My Mane Champ (Rispoli, 12-1); Martin or Yamamoto’s Mogollon Rim (Flavien Prat, 6-1); Sergio Zepeda Jr.’s Shortman (Valdivia, Jr., 30-1); ERJ Racing or Kenney’s Mackinnon (Juan Hernandez, 3-1); Peter Redekop’s Aquitania Arrival (Abel Cedillo, 5-1); Aldan Butler’s Thirty Four Coupe (Smith, 15-1); Red Barons Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Optimising (Drayden Van Dyke, 3-1), and Thomsen Racing’s Socal Red (Pereira, 20-1).

Monday’s card is the 31st and final day of summer season No. 82 at the shore oval. The track will return to action on Wednesday, November 3 for its 15-day fall session that will include the Breeders’ Cup Championship races on November 5 and 6.