Report: Baffert swaps Eight Rings from Los Alamitos Futurity

December 03, 2019 05:55pm
Eight Rings, who figured to rank among the favorites in Saturday's Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), will target a different race for his first start back since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Trainer Bob Baffert on Tuesday told the Thoroughbred Daily News the Grade 1-winning son of Empire Maker will reroute to the Feb. 9 San Vicente Stakes (G2) with a move carries implications in both the race for 2-year-old champion male for 2019 and the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail.

Eight Rings, who faded to sixth in the Juvenile, could have become the only member of his crop to claim a Grade 1 and Grade 2 victory had he won the Futurity. That would also mean a strong Eclipse Award case against the likes of upset Breeders' Cup winner Storm the Court and Structor, the 3-for-3 winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

As a seven-furlong event, the San Vicente does not come with Derby qualifying points. But most notably, Nyquist used it as a sharpener before going back around two turns and winning the 2016 Run for the Roses.

Baffert is still expected to saddle two Futurity contenders in debut winner Thousand Words, a $1 million yearling for Albaugh Family Stable and Spendthrift Farm, and High Velocity, who took Del Mar's Bob Hope Stakes (G3) to improve to 2-for-2. Baffert has won all five Futurity renewals since it moved from Hollywood Park.

The Futurity awards Derby points on a 10-4-2-1 basis to its Top 4 finishers. Post positions will be drawn Wednesday with Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Anneau d'Or also among the leading contenders.

2019 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2)


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