Published Friday, September 8th, 2023   ( 2 weeks ago )

Baffert Saddles Futurity Favorite; Nine In "Juvenile Turf" as Del Mar Closes

Prince of Monaco | Benoit Photo

Prince of Monaco © Benoit Photo

Trainer Bob Baffert will saddle the favorite in the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity Sunday on the closing day card of the Del Mar summer stand.

Of course saying that about Del Mar’s all-time leading trainer and the championship race for 2-year-olds is akin to stating that the sun will rise in the morning, a cat has a tail and Italian restaurants serve red sauce.

The Futurity has been run a total of 75 times. Of the most recent 27 editions, Baffert has won 16 of them. Surely, somewhere, somehow, someone has won a race more times than he has with this $300,000 Grade I test at seven furlongs. But if so, it is not plainly obvious.

Besides the Futurity, which will go as Race 10 on an 11-race program, the track also will present the 12th running of the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, a mile spin on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course that is for 2-year-olds. The $100,000 test has drawn a grouping of nine and will be presented as Race 7 on the afternoon.

In this year’s Futurity Baffert has a colt on the rise named Prince of Monaco, who is two-for-two including a smashing score in the Best Pal Stakes last out on August 13 where he won for fun in the Grade III sprint. The son of champion Speightstown who fetched $950,000 at auction as a yearling, Prince of Monaco is owned by an extended partnership that consists of SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Dianne Bashore, Robert Masterson, Wave Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, Tom Ryan and Stonestreet Stables.

So impressive was “Monaco” in his Best Pal score that Del Mar’s morning line maker Jon White has hung him the 2/5 favorite for the Futurity. Top rider Flavien Prat, who handled the colt in his last start, will come back from the east to ride the youngster once more.

In the Juvenile Turf, the likely favorite is Pin Oak Stud’s Boltage, who runs out of the Richard Mandella barn and will have veteran Ramon Vazquez in the boot. He’s been made 2-1 in the turf test’s morning line, mostly based on a smart one-mile turf tally in a straight maiden affair here on August 24.

Here are the full fields for the two stakes from the rail out with riders and their morning line odds:

RUNHAPPY DEL MAR FUTURITY – Prince of Monaco; David Hinkins’ Valiant Knight (Erick Garcia, 50-1); SF Racing, Starlight Racing, et al’s Mirahmadi (Juan Hernandez, 8-1); Great Friends Stables or Davis’ Raging Torrent (Antonio Fresu, 5-1); SF Racing, Starlight Racing, et al’s Rothschild (Ramon Vazquez, 5-1); Don’t Tell My Wife Stables’ Next Level (Kent Desormeaux, 12-1), and Ruis Racing’s Mary’s Boy Bolt (Ricardo Gonzalez, 15-1).

DEL MAR JUVENILE TURF – Peter Redekop’s Andreadytorumble (Umberto Rispoli, 12-1); WSS Racing’s Osage Creek (Mike Smith, 15-1); Boltage; Colbart Stables or Michael McCarthy, et al’s Lord Bullingdon (Prat, 8-1); Team Valor International’s Sea Singer (Fresu, 4-1); Jaime Renella’s Des Doigts (Edwin Maldonado, 15-1); Shanderella Stables et al’s Glandford (Hector Berrios, 6-1); Amerman Racing’s Endlessly (Hernandez, 5/2), and Charles Marquis’ Bear River (Desormeaux, 30-1).

Besides Prince of Monaco, Baffert also saddles Mirahmadi in the Futurity. The Into Mischief colt is still a maiden, but has been competitive in his three starts.

The race also has an interesting entrant in Valiant Knight, a well-bred son of Uncle Mo who has spent his summer winning several races in Wyoming at places like Energy Downs, Wyoming Downs and Sweetwater Downs. He’ll have to lace them up tight in Sunday’s headliner.

First post for the 31st and final card of the 84th summer session at Del Mar is 1:30 p.m.