Corniche wins at Del Mar.

In the middle between the two races of the 2nd class there was a 5 ½-line long first sprint in the special weight for 2-year-olds on the program on Saturday. And if racing fans were looking for an interesting bridge between the $ 200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes and the $ 250,000 Caesars Sportsbook Del Mar Derby, they got it.

Corniche, a $ 1.5 million purchase from Speedway Stables on the April Ocala sale, coached by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, cleared gate shortly after the break; run at the top of the track by two lengths; extended the lead with what the charts described as an “energetic hand ride” by jockey Mike Smith: and won in a time of 1: 03.01 reduced by 4¼ lengths

Speedway Stables is the name of Peter Fluor from Houston, TX. His horse Collected won the TVG Pacific Classic in 2017.

Corniche was one of 33 2-year-old Baffert nominated for the $ 300,000 Grade 1 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity on Monday. But Saturday’s race was an impressive debut for the Quality Road colt. And Baffert will have two more, Pinehurst and Murray, who were also impressive debut winners at the start of the meeting, as representatives if he aims for a 15th Futurity victory in the penultimate race of the summer meeting.

The nomination deadline for both the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity and today’s $ 300,000 Grade 1 Del Mar debutante was June 25th of this year. And Baffert, always with an abundance of talented babies, takes a shotgun approach when the paperwork is due.

“We have to do it early, so I’ll nominate a lot of them and see which ones are done when the time comes,” Baffert said this morning.

Murray, a son of Street Sense, who grossed $ 300,000 in last year’s Keeneland sale in September, made his debut on July 25 with a 10¼ length win at 5½ stadiums in 1: 04.20 ownership group – SF Racing, Starlight Racing and Partner – gained his career start by half a length, covering five stages in: 58 flat back.

Baffert said Corniche came out of his race in great shape and future assignments will be set in a few days.

“I wasn’t surprised, I was expecting it,” Baffert said of the Corniche effort. “He flew early and he always flew late. The Futurity came a little too quickly for him, but we’re looking forward to him as we are to many others. This is a really good group of 2 year olds. “

The field for the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity from the rail with jockeys and morning line odds in brackets: Pappacap (Joe Bravo, 3-1); Olympic Legend (Jose Valdivia, Jr., 12-1); Finneus (Tiago Pereira, 12-1); Pinehurst (Mike Smith, 5/2); Murray (Flavien Prat, 2-1) and American Xperiment (Umberto Rispoli, 5/2).