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Baffert Always a Factor in Del Mar Futurity

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has put together three different winning streaks in the Del Mar Futurity. He won seven straight from 1996 to 2002, then produced back-to-back wins in 2008-2009 and 2011-12.

Aiming  to start a new streak and add to his runaway leading total for Futurity wins, Baffert will be sending out American Pharoah and Holiday Camp in the field of nine expected for the Grade  I $300,000, 7-furlong event Wednesday.

“I’ve got a maiden (American Pharoah) and another that ran really well his first time out (Holiday Camp),” Baffert said Sunday. “They’re training well, so we’ll see what happens.”

Best Pal Stakes winner Skyway figures to go favored when oddsmaker Russ Hudak issues his line Monday morning. But Hudak said he will be taking a long look at Holiday Camp. The son of Street Boss, a $700,000 purchase at the Ocala sale in March, won handily in his racing debut on June 7 at Santa Anita, then was last of six as the even-money favorite  in the Santa Anita Juvenile on June 22 after a rough start.

On August 27, one week out from the Futurity, he worked six furlongs in 1:12, best of nine at the distance.

Baffert, who has had multiple favorites over the years and saddled the lowest-priced winner in Futurity history (Officer, $2.20, 2001) is accepting, but not entirely comfortable, with his 2014 situation.

“I’d rather have the two favorites,” Baffert said. “That way there’s more room for error.”

From the rail out the field is: American Pharoah (Victor Espinoza), Oh Newman (Aaron Gryder), Inexcess Time (Joe Talamo), Calculator (Elvis Trujillo), Iron Fist (Mike Smith), Henry’s Holiday (Tyler Baze), Red Button (Rafael Bejarano), Holiday Camp (Martin Garcia) and Skyway (Corey Nakatani).

Source: Del Mar


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