The 2016 Los Alamitos Futurity Preview


December 8th 2016

Previously known as the Hollywood Futurity and raced at Hollywood Park, the Los Alamitos Futurity is a late-December high profile race for 2 year-olds on the Kentucky Derby trail. Six Futurity starters have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby: Gato Del Sol (1982), Ferdinand (1986), Alysheba (1987), Thunder Gulch (1995), Real Quiet (1998) and Giacomo (2005). Real Quiet also won the Preakness in 1998 and entered the Belmont with a shot at the Triple Crown. He lost by a nose to Victory Gallop.

In 2013, the Futurity had Shared Belief and Candy Boy as runners. Since 2014, this race has been run at Los Alamitos Race Course and had as runners the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in the 2015 Kentucky Derby in Dortmund and Firing Line. Last year’s winner, Mor Spirit finished 2nd in the Santa Anita Derby and 10th in the Kentucky Derby. 

Trainer Bob Baffert has won this race five out of the last 8 times. And I wouldn’t bet against him winning it 6 out of the last 9 times. He has the 1/2 morning line odds favorite in Mastery. Mastery will be stretching out to 8 1/2 furlongs for the very first time. Baffert is very high on this progeny from Candy Ride. Baffert also has the 2nd morning line favorite in Show Me Da Lute at 7/2 odds.

The Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity  – 1 1/16th Mile – Saturday  December 10th – Race #6 at Los Alamitos Race Course – Post-Time: 4:58 PM CST. Televised by TVG

1. Dangerfield – Van Dyke/O’Neill – 6-1  
2. Bobby Abu Dhabi – Arroyo/Miller – 4-1    
3. Mastery – M.Smith/Baffert – 1-2  
4. Show Me Da Lute – Garcia/Baffert – 7-2  
5. Irap – Gutierrez/O’Neill – 20-1  

Race Commentary: Mastery *should* win this race. But Baffert’s other entry, Show Me Da Lute, has speed. Show Me Da Lute has also stretched out to 8 1/2 furlongs in his maiden race at Santa Anita Park back in October, winning with a time of 1:45.32. He had Victor Espinoza as his rider, this time he has Martin Garcia. The race winner will definitely need to have a wining time well south of 1:45. Dortmund’s winning time in 2014 was 1:40.86. Mor Spirt’s winning time last year was 1:43.54.

This race should be a good tool to access how much of a threat Mastery is to Classic Empire on the 2017 Kentucky Derby Trail. Classic Empire’s winning time in the 8 1/2 furlong Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park was 1:42.60. Los Alamitos is an equally fast track. I don’t expect Mastery will match or surpass this time. But we will see, won’t we?