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Del Mar Futurity Quick Picks
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Del Mar Futurity Quick Picks

by Laurie RossSeptember 5, 2021

The $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (G1) is the first Grade 1 event for 2-year-old colts in California. Initially contested at six furlongs in 1948, the race distance gradually lengthened over the years to a mile in 1974. Finally, it was shortened to the current seven furlongs in 1993.

Although the race is not a Challenge contest for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1),  the Del Mar Futurity has Breeders’ Cup implications.

 Since 2000, four horses, Stevie Wonderboy (2005), Midshipman (2008), Nyquist (2015), and Game Winner (2018), have pulled off the Del Mar Futurity/Breeders’ Cup Juvenile double.

This year, a short but promising group of six 2-year-olds are entered for Monday’s ninth race. Post time is 5L37 PM PT.

ALSO CHECK OUT: DEL MAR DEBUTANTE QUICK PICKS

#5 Murray (2-1)

Murray graduated at first asking at Del Mar by a powerful 10 3/4-lengths, getting 5 1/2-furlongs in 1:04.37. His 92 Bris speed figure is one of the highest earned this year by a 2-year-old. The high-percentage winning trainer Bob Baffert pairs with Flavien Prat, the meet’s leading rider. Win contender.

#1 Pappacap (3-1)

The only stakes winner in the field, Pappa Cap dominated the Best Pal Stakes (G2) by 4 3/4 lengths, beating Finneus in the process. Pappacap has won both starts by a combined seven lengths. However, despite this feat, the Mark Casse trainee’s Brisnet late-pace speed figure of 83 is in the lower half of the field. Exotics.

#6 American Xperiment (5-2)

American Xperiment shipped in from Saratoga looking for a softer field than the contentious Hopeful Stakes (G1). The Steve Asmussen trainee wired a field of maidens traveling 5 1/2 furlongs over a muddy track by 5 1/4 lengths in July, getting the distance in 1:04.09. American Xperiment earned a middling 88 speed figure. Exotics.

#4 Pinehurst (5-2)

Pinehurst also won at first asking, although the feat wasn’t as flashy as stablemate Murray’s. Pinehurst dueled with stablemate Enbarr through the stretch and inched away late, winning by a half-length. Pinehurst 88 late-pace speed figure is the highest in the Futurity field. Jockey Mike Smith has been selective at Del Mar this year, competing in only eight dirt sprints. He makes them count, as he’s won or placed six times.  Exotics.

#3 Finneus (12-1)

In his third start and first off a two-month layoff, Finneus closed late for second -place in the Best Pal Stakes but could not catch front running Pappacap. The Walter Solis trainee should enjoy the extra distance as it suits his closing running style. Unfortunately, he’ll have to improve his 81 speed figure dramatically. Toss.

#2 Olympic Legend (12-1)

Luis Mendez picked a tough spot for Olympic Legend’s first start in 71 days. Although he won his last start at Los Alamitos, the colt’s speed figures are the lowest in the field. Toss.

Del Mar Futurity Analysis

Only two favorites have won the Futurity in the last decade, although they have twice finished second and third three times.

Bob Baffert has won the Futurity five of the last ten years. His charge Murry looks like the one to beat.  Pappacap and American Xperiment could give him a run for his money.

#5 Murray (2-1)

#1 Pappacap (3-1)

#6 American Xperiment (5-2)

#3 Finneus (12-1)

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About The Author
Laurie Ross
Laurie is a handicapper, pedigree consultant, and published author. Her work has been featured on numerous prominent racing websites and she is a reoccurring guest on sports radio programs. She is also a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. Her yearly publications contain tremendous insight and value for bettors and horsemen. The Freshmen Sire Guide has received accolades from leading trainers and handicappers and her Triple Crown guides are a best-selling feature.