Trainer Bob Baffert Shoots for Record Eighth Win in Los Alamitos Futurity
The $350,000 Los Alamitos Futurity goes on Saturday, December 19 in Cypress, CA with the eighth race post time scheduled for 4:00 pm local PT. The Grade 1 feature has seven betting interests that includes trainer Bob Baffert’s pair of favorites Mor Spirit (8-5) and Toews on Ice (9-5).
The lone speed horse Toews on Ice is one to watch, as the Colt enters off three straight wins including last time out in the Grade lll Bob Hope 80 miles down the coast at Del Mar. He’s ridden by a terrific speed jockey in Martin Garcia, and those two contenders give Baffert a solid shot at his record 8th win in the Futurity with six coming at Hollywood Park before last year’s win with Dortmund.
Toews on Ice will be tested on the lead in the 1 1/16 mile feature as he has yet to go around two turns in his five starts, which included a win on this track to break his maiden in his third start. But Baffert notes, “He’s run well there. We’ll see how far he can take his speed.”
Mor Spirit could have a tougher time as he’s traveled back and forth from Kentucky twice in his three races. That includes his last effort in the slop when he finished second at Churchill Downs in the Grade ll Kentucky Jockey Club. While his running style has yet to be determined, Baffert says he wants to see him come off the pace in this race. Hall of Fame Jockey Gary Stevens gets the mount and will have him pushing down the stretch.
The biggest threat to the Baffert duo appears to be Hollywood Don (6-1). However, the Tapit colt has not raced since the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf in October and his two wins in five starts have come on the grass.
The Grade 1 Futurity is the race of the year for 2-year-olds, and last year’s top finishers Dortmund and and Firing Line went on to finish third and second in the 2015 Kentucky Derby. This year’s Futurity field is weaker and offers fewer horses to contend at better prices.