Providing trainer Bob Baffert with an amazing tenth victory in the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity, lightly-raced but talented Drill survived a bumping skirmish in the final strides to win Del Mar’s traditional Grade I closing-day headliner for two-year-olds Wednesday.
Drill, ridden by Martin Garcia, was knocked sideways in the final strides when Majestic City bore out sharply, forcing 4-5 favored Creative Cause out into the eventual winner, who reached the wire a neck in front.
Majestic City, piloted by David Flores, was second at the end, three-quarters of a length in front of Creative Cause and Rafael Bejarano. Gun Boat, another Baffert-trained entrant, was fourth after setting the early pace.
Del Mar’s board of stewards immediately posted the inquiry sign and after viewing videotape of the stretch run disqualified Majestic City and placed him third, elevating Creative Cause into the runner-up position.
Drill, a son of Lawyer Ron, stepped the seven furlongs in 1:22.16 and returned $10.40, $5.20 and $3.40 after scoring his second win in just three starts, all this summer at Del Mar. He broke his maiden in his second try, August 13 after finishing eighth in his career debut July 30.
First money of $150,000 increased the colt’s earnings to $188,150. He is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitmen, the same ownership combine that won the Futurity two years ago with Lookin at Lucky who went on to Eclipse Awards as a two-year-old and a three-year-old.
Creative Cause returned $2.60 and $2.10, while Majestic City paid $2.60 to show. In the first of two supporting features on closing day, 3-2 favored Rumor, ridden by Garrett Gomez, nosed out Salty Sarah after a prolonged stretch drive in the $95,130 C.E.R.F. Stakes for older fillies and mares at six furlongs.
Rumor, owned by Bass, Claiborne Farm and Dilschneider and trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, ran the six furlongs in 1:09.45 and returned $5 after her third win in six starts. Givine was third in the field of seven.
The season’s first deadheat occurred in the $104,375 Pirate’s Bounty Stakes as 33-1 longshot Sterling Outlook and 7-2 Mensa Heat hit the wire in a tie.
Alonso Quinonez was aboard Sterling Outlook, with Joe Talamo up on Mensa Heat. Third in the six furlong sprint was Ain’t No Other.
Time for the distance was a quick 1:08.84
Sterling Outlook returned $29.20 to win, while Mensa Heat paid $5.40 to his supporters.
With a Pick Six pool of $664,005 on the final day of the 37-day season, there were four perfect tickets and each paid $88,679.40.