By Jessica Martini
Grade I winner Eight Rings (Empire Maker), originally expected to make his next start in Saturday’s GII Los Alamitos Futurity, will skip the 1 1/16-mile race and will instead point towards the Feb. 9 GII San Vicente S., trainer Bob Baffert confirmed to TDN Tuesday. Baffert said the timing of the San Vicente would be better for the talented 2-year-old.
Eight Rings, tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ following his debut win at Del Mar in August, ducked in and lost the rider at the break of the Sept. 2 GI Del Mar Futurity, but made amends with a dominating victory in the Sept. 27 GI American Pharoah S. He tired to sixth in the Nov. 1 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last time out. The juvenile most recently worked five furlongs in 1:00.00 (3/46) at Santa Anita Sunday.
Baffert will have two runners in Saturday’s Futurity. The trainer confirmed GIII Bob Hope S. winner High Velocity (Quality Road) and debut winner Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile) were on target for the race.