Race of the Week 2017

J P's Gusto Easily Captures Del Mar Futurity

Gem, Inc.'s J P's Gusto, the 4-5 betting choice ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, staked his claim as one of  America's best two-year-olds with an impressive triumph Wednesday in the Grade I $250,000 Del Mar Futurity before a crowd of 12,252 on the final day of Del Mar's summer season of Thoroughbred racing.


Prominent from the start of the seven-furlong sprint for juveniles, J P's Gusto, winner of the Best Pal Stakes early this season, shook loose at the top of the stretch, responded generously to Valenzuela's urging and pulled away authoritatively to win by  4 1/2 lengths in 1:22.95.


Jaycito, a 19-1 longshot, rallied strongly to be second, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Riveting Reason and Indian Winter who deadheated for third in the field of eleven.


J P's Gusto, a son of Successful Appeal conditioned by David Hofmans, was scoring his fourth victory in five starts, all in stakes. His only loss came in his career debut, a maiden race at Hollywood Park. First money of $150,000 increased the colt's earnings to $337,360. He was purchased for $52,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Sale of Yearlings by Dr. John Waken of Gem, Inc.


J P's Gusto, whose other stakes wins were in the Willard Proctor Memorial and Hollywood Juvenile Championship, returned $3.60, $3 and $2.40. Runner-up Jaycito paid $14 and $7.80, while the deadheaters Riveting Reason and Indian Winter returned $4.60 and $2.40 to show, respectively.


For Valenzuela, J P's Gusto capped an incredible comeback. Absent from California racing since the end of 2007, the 47-year-old jockey won 29 races at Del Mar this summer, outdone only by the dueling Joel Rosario and Rafael Bejarano. He won the Del Mar  Futurity 20 years ago aboard the great California-bred gelding, Best Pal, a Hall of Fame inductee this summer. 


Rosario, who began closing day trailing Bejarano, 54-53, booted in four winners Wednesday to clinch his second straight title at the seaside track. Into the tenth and final race of the season, the two were tied at 56 as Bejarano had doubled earlier in the afternoon.


The championship came down to the final strides of the mile and one-sixteenth turf race as Rosario got favored Tiz Argent up to edge out Sammartino and Valenzuela by a head with Bejarano only another half-length back in third place aboard Papa Lev.



In supporting features Wednesday, Fund Raiser, ridden by  Rosario, scored by a half-length in the $78,175 C.E.R.F. Stakes for older fillies and mares, while Gato Go Win, with  Bejarano in the saddle, won the $80,175 Pirate's Bounty Stakes for older horses.


Fund Raiser, owned by Arnold Zetcher and trained by Bob Baffert, ran six furlongs in 1:10.01 and returned $8.80 while earning $46,905. Holding Her Ground was second and Minute Limit third.


Gato Go Win, representing owners Joey Platts and Jack Sims and trained by Robert Troeger, scored by a half-length over Spaniard, with Truest Legend third Dancing in Silks, making his first start since winning the 2009 Breeders' Cup Sprint, was fourth as the 6-5 favorite.


Gato Go Win earned $47,295 and paid $11.20 for his upset.



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Older Comments about J P's Gusto Easily Captures Del Mar Futurity...

Only one 2YO BC champ has gone on to win the KY Derby - Street Sense. Lots of heart-break starting their 3YO campaign.
Nice observation bardiggler. I was thinking the same thing regarding Jaycito. The promising Zayat runner is bred to handle a route of ground and could easily turn the tables on JP at longer distances in the near future. They could meet again in the Norfolk.
  • bardiggler · I put some money on him based on his last race and his physical appearance walking around the paddock, he just looked ready. I had him heavy to place as well and tried to beat the favorite in my exacta using bejaranos horse and wheeling in some bombs. Delmar played strange this meet, it seemed like a lot of overseas shippers with odds were always in money when they ran. A lot of the same horses that ran well at SA did "ok" but these IRE,GB,NZ,ARG shippers showed up. Thoughts? · 2630 days ago
You cannot tell much be a horse's two year old season. Macho Uno, Talkin Man,Favorite Trick, Officer Fly So Free, Marias Mon etc etc litter the pages of great at two not much after...
JP won easily, but I really like what I saw from the #1 Jaicynto who closed like beast in both of his last two races. Keep an eye out for this horse.

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