The Del Mar Futurity, a GI event for 2YO’s going 7 furlongs, is one my favorite races all year. It is filled with memories. I can still hear my friend Josh yelling, “Stevie Wonderboy,” like it was yesterday. It typically sums up the meet for 2YO dirt colts, providing a 7f distance in anticipation of the 8.5 furlong American Pharoah (formally the Frontrunner). Unfortunately, this year one of the two standouts — Instagrand — will skip this race and train into the American Pharoah. According to DRF, it was the owner’s decision. Instagrand cost $1.2 million and won his debut at Los Al by open lengths and then won the GII Best Pal at Del Mar, earning one of the top 2YO Beyers of the year. So, we will always wonder whether Instagrand would have won here. That said, he may have been favored here, but maybe not. He would have been challenged by the horse that now takes on the position of heavy favorite, Roadster.
Roadster ran an 81 Beyer Speed Figure in winning his maiden race on July 29. But, prior to that maiden race, Bob Baffert had been touting this horse whenever asked “Who’s the next great one in your barn?” The maiden race was especially deep and he won by 4 1/4 lengths. He would seem to appreciate the extra furlong as his sire is Quality Road and his damsire of Silver Ghost. At some point, we may have questions about distance, but definitely not today. Another reason to support Roadster — Baffert owns this race — he has 13 wins. He definitely knows what it takes to win. With Instagram out, Roadster is likely to be 3/5, perhaps even 1/5. Can you beat him?
Game Winner aka the “other Baffert.” He ran a very good Beyer and then Baffert removes the blinkers. He’s an amazing 45% with this angle. Obviously, he must think this horse can run better, which makes him competitive for the winner’s circle. He’s the best chance to upset Roadster and a possible value play. Sparky Ville finished second behind Instagrand last time out in the Best Pal. It may have been a race that improves him. Rowayton was hot on debut and didn’t disappoint. He has an extra 2 furlongs to get; that’s a bigger jump than I like to see, but his speed isn’t terrible and there is some hype. Spin Lightning closed in a maiden, which is always notable. He earned a very slow speed figure, although there are hints of potential.
I don’t terribly care for Savagery. Front-running Beyer Speed Figures at the maiden claiming level tend to be inflated. Sigalert seems to slow to win this race.
Good luck at the races!