Pinehurst shot to the top in the seven-stage Runhappy Del Mar Futurity Monday and then simply drove on to a manageable 4 1/2 triumph in the 74th year old championship run.
It was the final afternoon for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s 82nd summer season in Del Mar, California, and it ended, like many in the past 25 years, when coach Bob Baffert saddled the futurity winner. This time around, 15th place was for the Hall of Fame preparer who has shown an affinity for young horses that few other trainers can think of.
Another Hall of Famer, old pro Mike Smith, rode Pinehurst and groomed him with quick fractions of: 09/22,: 44.77, 1: 10.17 and a final of 1: 23.55. It was Smith’s first stakes score of the summer and his first in Futurity.
Second place went to Lovingier, Fasihuddin or Navarros Finneus, who was half a length on Downstream Racing’s American Xperiment.
“The last time we ran, he stumbled a lot when he got out of there, but he was still in the lead,” said Smith. “So I knew he was pretty quick. We hit a horse named Enbarr that day (August 1st) and I knew they were really high on him. So I thought I was riding a good horse. When you drive for Bob (Trainer Baffert), you drive with confidence. He lays so much foundation for them and they all come running. I am so happy to have won a stake at Del Mar; and best to do it with a grade of 1. “
Pinehurst won a first prize of $ 180,000 for his efforts in addition to the $ 42,000 he received for his first win at Del Mar on August 8th. 1 he now shows a bankroll of $ 222,000. He is a bay colt by Twirling Candy who, as a yearling, cost $ 385,000 at the Keeneland September Sale. Pinehurst was bred in Kentucky by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding. He drives for SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable and Siena Farm LLC.
Pinehurst paid a total of $ 10.00, $ 5.40, and $ 4.00. Finneus returned $ 18.00 and $ 7.80, and American Xperiment paid $ 5.00.
Previously, ERJ Racing and Kenneys Mackinnon overtook eight rivals in the $ 102,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf, finishing the mile on the turf in 1: 36.24.
The winner was mentored by Juan Hernandez and is coached by Doug O’Neill.
Aiden Butler’s Thirty Four Coupé came in second, just a nose ahead of Sierra Racing or Sterling Stables’ Silver Surfer.
“He broke his virgin (here on July 31st) in a way we’d hoped that day would come, but you never know,” said O’Neill. “So much praise to the owners who were so patient and Juan (Hernandez) so patient with this colt. I was a little concerned as the race developed. I knew (tweaking) was the X factor. I knew he was from Europe and had done well and had great connections and was in a great position. But when Juan MacKinnon called and he answered, I started smiling. If he stays injury free, the ($ 1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on November 5th) will be the goal. “
Mackinnon made $ 60,000 for his win and raised his bankroll to $ 117,860. As an 8/5 favorite, he paid $ 5.20, $ 3.40, and $ 240. Thirty Four Coupe returned $ 14.60 and $ 7.00, while Silver Surfer paid $ 3.20.
Mackinnon is a chestnut stallion owned by the Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
In the Track’s Pick 6 Single Ticket Jackpot bet, the “Mandatory Payout” pool reached $ 5,153,316 and rewarded 8,238 ticket holders with $ 561.74 each.
The race will resume on Wednesday 3rd November in Del Mar. The second Breeders’ Cup Championship will take place on November 5th and 6th.
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