Thousand Words extends Los Alamitos Futurity run for Baffert

December 07, 2019 05:11pm
Thousand Words extends Los Alamitos Futurity run for Baffert
Photo: Benoit

Before Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity, trainer Bob Baffert told jockey Flavien Prat "that I thought I had found a good one for him" for the 2020 Kentucky Derby.

Headed in deep stretch by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Anneau d’Or, maiden winner Thousand Words dug in to indeed put himself square on the trail to Churchill Downs.

The win also extended trainer Bob Baffert’s run of dominance in this event — he’s taken all six editions since it switched from Hollywood Park — and gave the Hall of Famer another contender to watch on the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail.

Florida-bred Thousand Words, a $1 million yearling campaigned by Albaugh Family Stable and Spendthrift Farm, made the jump to stakes company off a successful  6 1/2-furlong debut last October at Santa Anita Park.

In the Futurity, run over a sealed, "good" track, he pressed outside of pace-setting stablemate High Velocity through fractions of 22.47 and 45.87 to open proceedings. Anneau d’Or, caught in the pocket behind those two much of the way, found room through the turn and came under a drive.

They lined up three across the track — High Velocity on the rail, Thousand Words between and Anneau d’Or on the grandstand side of the track — before Thousand Words out-dueled Anneau d’Or under Prat, who won his first Kentucky Derby in 2019 aboard Country House.

"They went a little bit quick early, both of them, and turning for home it looked like I was going to run 1-2," Baffert said of his trainees. "I was watching (Anneau d'Or) 
 really good horse  and then he came down and it looked like that one horse was going to gobble us up at the end there.

"Prat did a great job. He brought (Thousand Words) out and showed him that other horse. I had a lot of blinker on him today 
 probably too much blinker  but when he saw that other horse, he kicked back into gear and came back and he handled it really well.

"That's pretty impressive second time out to run that way and run that well."

The final time was 1:43.19 for 1 1/16 miles.

All entrants in this compact field of four were guaranteed Derby qualifying points paid out on a 10-4-2-1 basis to the Top 4 finishers. Behind High Velocity, who faded to third, Wrecking Crew crossed the wire fourth while eased.

Favoritism switched throughout betting, eventually landing on Anneau d’Or as the 6-5 choice. He’s trained by Northern California-based conditioner Blaine Wright and made the Juvenile his second overall start and first on dirt.

High Velocity, winner of Del Mar’s Bob Hope Stakes (G3) in his most-recent outing, took the early money. Eventually, Thousand Words went off as the 8-5 second choice, returning $5.40 to win.

Before Thousand Words, others in Baffert's streak of Futurity winners were Dortmund (2014), Mor Spirit (2015), Mastery (2016), McKinzie (2017) and Improbable (2018).

"This is the first time I've won it when I wasn't the favorite," Baffert said. "This race is so important, and hopefully they'll get their Grade 1 back 
 status  because it's been won by a lot of great horses."


Anneau d'Or  |  Thousand Words  |   | 
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