Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Best Juveniles at Del Mar Meet in Futurity

The Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity attracts the most accomplished two year olds of the 2012 Del Mar meet to face each other on closing day. The race is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge contest, which means the victor of the Del Mar Futurity is assured a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile starting gate. Since 2000, two horses, Stevie Wonderboy and Midshipman, have pulled of the Del Mar Futurity/BC Juvenile double. In 2009, Lookin At Lucky won the Futurity, but was an unlucky second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. A year later, he won the Preakness.

This year's Del Mar Futurity field includes the spectacular Best Pal Stakes (G-2) winner KNOW MORE (by Lion Heart), who recorded history as the first horse to win a graded stakes at Del Mar in his debut. The field also includes SCHERER MAGIC (Donerailie Court). He benefited from a torrid pace in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, but was a lackluster fifth in the Best Pal. The offspring of Doneraile Court are poor performers at Del Mar, with only 1 winner from 11 starters in six years.

HEIR OF STORM also competed in the Best Pal after winning his maiden. The Wildcat Heir colt steadied slightly, but finished a one-paced fourth in the race.

There are four last out maiden winners. Two of them. GABRIEL CHARLES (by Street Hero) and CAPO BASTONE (by Street Boss), were up in time to win their debuts by a nose and neck, respectively. Both are by freshmen sire sons of Street Cry.

YANKEE REBEL, by superior Polysire Yankee Gentleman, outclassed maiden claimers by 1 ¾ lengths in his debut, getting 5F in :58.27. He shares the highest Bris speed figure with Gabriel Charles and owns the 2nd highest late pace speed figure. This one is faster than some of the lower priced horses and he's worth a hard look.

No juvenile stakes race is complete without a Baffert trainee. ROLLING FOG (by Posse) dueled most of the way then pulled clear to win by 2 ¾ lengths.

There are three maidens who will try to win their maidens in a Grade 1 race.

The most impressive of theses, CABALLO DEL CIELO, lead all of the way to just get caught by ½ length at the wire by He's Had Enough (who is entered in the Oak Tree Mile) in their debut. Since the race Caballo Del Cielo has worked 2 consecutive bullets and gets a positive jock switch to Smith (20% wins mt sprints).

I'VE STRUCK A NERVE is also a son of Yankee Gentleman. He just missed in his debut bu two necks. The extra distance should help.

PURE LOYALTY, a son of Simon Pure, was off slow but made up 11 ½ lengths before running out of real estate in his debut. He finished second, beaten 1 ½ lengths in a 5 ½ length contest.

THE WHOLE DEAL (by Holy Bull) adds blinkers after two off of the board finishes against maidens. Holy Bull is a poor polysire. His offspring are 1-31 at Del Mar since 2007.

The filly SWITCH TO THE LEAD (by Songandaprayer) takes on the boys after a being dominated by 3 ¾ lengths by the top California filly Executiveprivilege in the Sorrento (G-3). She gets a positive jock switch, but the last filly to win the Futurity was Lost Kitty in 1987.


Track bias: front runners/pressers are winning at 44% while one run closers get the job done 38% of the time. In the last ten years, six front runners/pace pressers won the Del Mar Furturity, while four mid-pack runners and two closers were victorious.

There is very little early speed in the Del Mar Futurity, which is rare for a juvenile stakes race. Only ROLLING FOG and CABALLO DEL CIELO are confirmed front runners. SWITCH TO THE LEAD and SCHERER MAGIC could press the pace, while the rest prefer to race mid-pack or at the back of the pack.




#4 YANKEE REBEL – longshot pick



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