Published Sunday, September 10th, 2023   ( 7 months ago )

Odds-On Prince of Monaco Scores in Closing Day Del Mar Futurity

Prince of Monaco | Benoit Photo

Prince of Monaco © Benoit Photo

The undefeated colt Prince of Monaco walked his beat smartly in the Grade I Runhappy Del Mar Futurity as the 84th Del Mar summer season came to a positive close Sunday at the shore.

With Flavien Prat at the controls and the odds board saying the son of champion Speightstown was no more than .05-cents to the dollar, Prince of Monaco always looked like a winner in the $300,500 seven-furlong headliner and in the end his three-quarter length triumph proved plenty enough to his backers.

The victory gave Del Mar’s leading trainer Bob Baffert his 17th score in the championship race and his 165 victory overall at Del Mar.

The racy dark bay or brown youngster, who fetched $950,000 at a yearling sale, is owned by a multiple partnership headed by SF Racing, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables. His victory was worth $180,000, pushing his bankroll to $327,000. In his prior start he captured the Grade III Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar on August 13.

Finishing second in the stakes was the same ownership group’s Mirahmadi. He wound up three and three-quarter lengths better than Don’t Tell My Wife Stables’ Next Level.

Prince of Monaco ran the seven furlongs in 1:22.65 and paid $2.10 for $2.

In the earlier $101,500, Grade III Del Mar Juvenile Turf, Amerman Racing’s homebred Endlessly was a smart two and a quarter length winner under leading rider Juan Hernandez. The colt by Oscar Performance was scoring his second win in his second start after registering a maiden score locally on July 30.

Endlessly, who is trained by Mike McCarthy, picked up a check for $60,000 for his tally and improved his bankroll to $109,200. The score was McCarthy’s third of the day.

Colbart Stables or McCarthy Racing’s Lord Bullington checked in second, a length in front of Pin Oak Stud’s Boltage, the 11-10 favorite in the mile on turf.

The winner covered the distance in 1:35.28 and paid $7.60 for $2.

In the track’s “mandatory Pick Six,” there were 482 winning tickets, each worth $4,102. The total pool for the race amounted to $2,522,443.

Racing will return to Del Mar on November 10 for the Bing Crosby Season. 

FLAVIEN PRAT (Prince of Monaco, winner) – “He broke well and I thought I was going to go to the lead. But other horses went for it, so we waited. On the turn, he made his move and we made the lead. His teammate (stablemate Mirahmadi) was trying hard. But I think my horse was just waiting for something to come up to him. That didn’t happen. Can he run on? We won’t know until it happens, but he’s done everything right so far.”

JIMMY BARNES (Assistant to Bob Baffert) (Prince of Monaco, winner) – “It was the right kind of trip we were looking for. We weren’t sure about Mirahmadi, where he was going to be placed in the race, but he left there running. (Flavien) Prat just got comfortable on the inside and when he needed to get to the outside he did and he accelerated. He’s pretty push button, pretty straight forward. I’m very proud of both of them.”

FRACTIONS:  :22.18 :44.75 1:09.33 1:22.65

The stakes win was the fourth of the session for rider Prat and the ninth for trainer Baffert.

Rider Prat was winning his second Futurity (Dr. Schivel, 2020) and his 90th stakes overall at Del Mar, ninth best among al riders.

Trainer Baffert was capturing his 17th overall victory in the Futurity (in the last 28 runnings). He now has 165 stakes wins at Del Mar, far, far and away the most by any trainer.

The winning owners are SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables and partners.