Klimt Kisses Rivals Goodbye in Futurity

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5th at DMR, Gr. Stk, $300,000GI Del Mar Futurity (7f)Winner: Klimt, c, 2 by Quality Road

Klimt | Benoit Photo

Kaleem Shah's Klimt (Quality Road) sailed home an easy 4 1/4-length winner of Monday's GI Del Mar Futurity, a race won the last two seasons by subsequent GI Kentucky Derby winners American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) and Nyquist (Uncle Mo).

Breaking from the outside in a field of six, Klimt was within striking distance in fourth down the backstretch as favored and fellow 'TDN Rising Star' Straight Fire (Dominus) took the field through a quarter in :22.33. The favorite was pressed through a half-mile in :44.38 and looked well in control, but Klimt was gobbling up ground and drew on even terms with the pacesetter at the top of the lane. He turned back the favorite with a furlong to run and drew clear effortlessly. “Coming to the top of the stretch, I knew he was loaded and I said, 'I just hope that other horse [Straight Fire] doesn't have another gear,'” said trainer Bob Baffert, who was winning his 13th Futurity. “It was very exciting to watch.”

“When you're fortunate to have great clients who will buy these great horses, good things happen,” Baffert continued. “Kaleem has always wanted to have his silks in the paddock [on the jockey statue] and now he does.”

Rafael Bejarano always felt like he was riding the Futurity winner.

“I loved my position, all the way around there,” Bejarano said. “Just perfect. I could see the favorites up front going fast and that was good for me. At the three-eighths [pole], I felt I was home. I was loaded up and they'd gone fast early. My horse kicked in. Perfect.”

Jockey Kent Desormeaux was pleased with the effort of the runner-up, who was a dominant 10 1/2-length maiden winner in his second start Aug. 6.

“What he did up front, he did all on his own,” Desormeaux said of Straight Fire. “His ears were twitching and he was running that fast. He's the fastest 2-year-old I've ever been on. But the winner was brilliant. You've got to say that. But I'm proud of my horse. Only his third race. He's a good one.”

Chasing Aces (Flatter), who took an awkward step shortly after the break, recovered to press the favorite, but began to fall back leaving the backstretch and was ultimately pulled up by jockey Tyler Baze and vanned off. According to track officials, the colt suffered a slab fracture to his left knee and had to be euthanized.

Fourth on debut going five furlongs at Santa Anita June 25, Klimt was tabbed a 'TDN Rising Star' after his 5 1/4-length win going 5 1/2 furlongs in Arcadia July 10. He added a 2 3/4-length win in the Aug. 13 GII Best Pal S. last time out.

“We've always thought that going two turns is where he's really going to excel,” Baffert said. “He's got a great mind.”

Pedigree Notes:

Klimt is a son of multiple stakes placed Inventive (Dixie Union), who is also the dam of graded stakes placed West Coast Chick (Malibu Moon). She was purchased by Erik and Pavla Nygaard's Thor-Bred Stables for $130,000 while in foal to Indian Charlie at the 2012 Keeneland January sale. She resold in foal to Bernardini for $80,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale. Her Bernardini filly sold for $42,000 at this year's Keeneland January sale. Klimt, purchased for $140,000 by Bradley Thoroughbreds at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale, blossomed into a $435,000 OBS March juvenile.

Monday, Del Mar

DEL MAR FUTURITY-GI, $300,345, DMR, 9-5, 2yo, 7f, 1:21.80, ft.
1–&KLIMT, 123, c, 2, by Quality Road
Fasig-Tipton-Winner-Logo1st Dam: Inventive (MSP, $134,000), by Dixie Union
2nd Dam: Original, by Storm Cat
3rd Dam: Tennis Lady, by Broad Brush
'TDN Rising Star' ($140,000 Ylg '15 FTKJUL; $435,000 2yo '16
OBSMAR). O-Kaleem Shah, Inc.; B-Thor-Bred Stables, LLC (KY);
T-Bob Baffert; J-Rafael Bejarano. $180,000. Lifetime Record:
4-3-0-0, $336,960. *1/2 to West Coast Chick (Malibu Moon),
GSP, $163,184. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Straight Fire, 120, c, 2, Dominus–Tricky Indy, by A.P. Indy.
'TDN Rising Star' ($250,000 Ylg '15 FTKJUL). O-Jungle Racing
LLC, LNJ Foxwoods, KMN Racing LLC, J.Davenport & A.Molasky;
B-Spendthrift Farm LLC (KY); T-J. Keith Desormeaux. $60,000.3–Midnight Pleasure, 120, c, 2, Midnight Lute–Platinum
Preferred, by Vindication. ($28,000 Ylg '15 KEESEP; $310,000
2yo '16 OBSAPR). O-Ruis Racing LLC & Wendy Ruis; B-Roger
Long (KY); T-Shelbe Ruis. $36,000.
Margins: 4 1/4, 1HF, 16HF. Odds: 2.50, 0.80, 11.40.
Also Ran: Dynamic Ruler, Vegas Itch, Chasing Aces.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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