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Baffert Chases Twelfth Futurity Victory

Bob Baffert

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s record 11 wins in the Del Mar Futurity have been achieved in bunches.

He strung together seven in a row from Silver Charm in 1996 to Icecoldbeeratreds in 2002. Next came  back-to-back wins with Midshipman and Lookin At Lucky in 2008-09. Wednesday, Baffert will saddle Can the Man in the $300,000  Grade I traditional closing day feature hoping to extend a streak started by Drill in 2011 and continued by Rolling Fog last year.

Baffert submitted 28 names for the Futurity before the June 7 close of nominations. But Can The Man will be his only representative in the field of 11 for the 7-furlong test which determines the juvenile champion of the meeting. “I knew coming into the meeting that I was a little ahead (in readiness) for my fillies and a little behind in my colts,” Baffert said Monday.

So it’s down to Can the Man, a Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief who was purchased for $320,000 at the Barretts sale in May for Kaleem Shah. Can the Man is named for the longtime pet name of Baffert’s son Canyon, who works out of the Virginia headquarters of Shah’s CalNet security firm which has a branch in San Diego.

Can the Man made his racing debut on August 17, winning by 1 ½ lengths over 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.80 under Martin Garcia. 

“He’s a nice little horse and he’s fast,” Baffert said. “We drew the No. 2 hole and I’d have liked to have had a little better post position. A little further outside,  so he could use his speed more.

“Sometimes when you have a speed horse going from 5 ½ to 7 (furlongs) it’s tough on them when they get pressured. There are horses in there that are getting better and better.”

The Futurity field, from the rail out is: Skydreamin (Agapito Delgadillo, 15-1), Can the Man (Martin Garcia, 9-2), Dance With Fate (Rafael Bejarano, 8-1), Celtic Moon (Garrett Gomez, 5-1), Alberts Hope (Alonso Quinonez, 7-2), Alpine Luck (Gary Stevens, 15-1), Rum Point (Patrick Valenzuela, 15-1), California Chrome (Alberto Delgado, 6-1), Guns Loaded (Joe Talamo, 10-1), Tamarando (Julien Leparoux, 8-1), Indexical (Mario Gutierrez, 8-1).

Bonde Takes A Shot At Debutante-Futurity Double

Following up the Saturday victory by She’s a Tiger in the Del Mar Debutante with one Wednesday in the Futurity by Skydreamin would be “utopia,” trainer Jeff Bonde said Monday.

And while Skydreamin is 15-1 on the morning line and has the generally undesired No. 1 post position, Bonde is the only one with a chance to join a group accomplishing the feat, since the late 1980s, comprised only of Hall of Famers.

The names: Bob Baffert, Richard Mandella, Ron McAnally and D. Wayne Lukas. Baffert has done it four times, most recently last year, Mandella (2003) and McAnally (1994) once each and Lukas three times. Twice, Lukas won the Debutante and Futurity with the same horse, Althea in 1983 and Lost Kitty in 1987.

As for Skydreamin…

“He’s as big as a buffalo,” Bonde said. “He won two stakes up north. The first time he did everything wrong and still won. The second time he was a model citizen and ran a big one.

“The other day (last of six in the Grade II Best Pal) he was hollering and screaming at the pony going to the gate, and through the whole race. They were running and he was screaming.

“He came back and worked (6f, 1:12.60) from the gate without a sound. We’ve checked him out and there’s nothing wrong with him. So we’ll see what happens.”




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