By Christina Bossinakis
Having ascended through his conditions with aplomb, Pappacap (Gun Runner) hopes the trend continues in Monday's GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity. A first-out winner going five panels at Gulfstream May 14, the Rustlewood Farm homebred came from just off the pace to make it two straight in the Aug. 7 GII Best Pal S. Joe Bravo, who was aboard last time, reunites with the Florida bred again here. Never one to be disregarded, on either coast, trainer Steve Asmussen is represented by
American Xperiment (Nyquist), who shipped to the West Coast this past week. He was supplemented for $10,000 after producing a rousing 5 1/4-length win in a 5 1/2-furlong off-turf test at the Spa July 30.
“He got here Tuesday, he arrived in good order and we're hoping he runs well,” said Asmussen assistant Sarah Campion, who traveled with the colt. “He broke his maiden impressively at Saratoga, so Steve decided to send him out.”
Also represented is Bob Baffert, who saddles two for this seven-furlong juvenile feature. Pinehurst (Twirling Candy) led through most of his five-furlong debut here Aug. 1, holding on for a 1/2-length score over stablemate Enbarr (Brody's Cause). Baffert also saddles Murray (Street Sense), who earned TDN Rising Star distinction when airing by 10 3/4 lengths in his debut at Del Mar July 25. Since that effort, the $300,000 KEESEP purchase has been producing fast works at Del Mar, including a five-furlong move in :59.80 Aug. 25 followed by a bullet six furlongs in 1:12.4 Aug. 31.
“They both broke their maidens here and they've both trained well since,” said Baffert, who has won the Futurity on 14 prior occasions.