Pinehurst Wins Runhappy Del Mar Futurity By a 'Fair Way'


Pinehurst | Benoit Photo

Bob Baffert's odds-on favorite in Monday's GI Runhappy Del Mar Futurity did little running, but it was no matter, as Baffert's 'other' colt, Pinehurst (Twirling Candy), picked up the slack and ran away from his foes to give Baffert an incredible 15th victory in the seaside oval's annual closing day feature.

Gutting out a hard-fought debut victory as a 17-10 chalk going five furlongs on this track Aug. 1, the $385,000 Keeneland September buy was made a distant second choice despite owning the best Beyer figure in the field as all the money poured in on Murray (Street Sense). Assuming command early with no riders showing much appetite for using their mounts' speed, Pinehurst dictated terms through a :22.09 quarter while just lightly pressed by the favorite as the other two single-digit odds horses, Pappacap (Gun Runner) and American Xperiment (Nyqust), comprised the third flight.

Murray came under the gun fairly early on the turn and was pushed along through a :44.77 half while making no dent on the leader's margin. Shifting out one path at the top of the lane, Pinehurst left the rail open for Pappcap, but that rival could not quicken with him as the leader drew away into mid-stretch. Longshot Finneus (Stay Thirsty) rallied down the center of the track to get into second, but was never within shouting distance of Pinehurst, who came home comfortably in charge under Mike Smith, remarkably winning the Del Mar Futurity for the first time. American Xperiment edged out Pappcap for third, with Murray checking in a dull fifth.

“I could see that Murray didn't have it today. He was struggling early on. I'm just glad that I had two good horses and one of them had it even if the other one didn't,” said Baffert. “I've been blessed over the years with so many good owners and so many good young horses. Mike Smith broke his maiden, so it was natural to have him back. He's a great rider and you give him a live one he knows what to do.”

“When we ran last time, he stumbed pretty badly coming out of there, but he still made the lead. So I knew he was plenty quick,” added Smith. “We beat a horse that day named Enbarr and I knew they were real high on him. So I figured I was sitting on a good horse. When you ride for Bob, you ride with confidence. He puts so much foundation under them and they all come running. So glad I got to win a stakes at Del Mar; and best to do it with a Grade I.”

Pedigree Notes:

With the victory, Pinehurst becomes the 30th stakes winner, 11th graded stakes winner and sixth Grade I winner for Lane's End Farm's Twirling Candy, following Finley'sluckycharm, Gift Box, Concrete Rose, Collusion Illusion and this year's GI Preakness S. victor Rombauer. He is the third foal to race out of My Meadowview homebred Giant Win, a full-sister to GSW First Passage out of MSW Win's Fair Lady. Third dam Win Crafty Lady was a GSW who produced four-time GSW and sire Graeme Hall (Dehere), GISW Harmony Lodge (Hennessy) and GSW Win McCool (Giant's Causeway). Giant Win has a yearling colt by Cairo Prince and produced a Liam's Map colt this season before returning to the winner's sire.

Monday, Del Mar
RUNHAPPY DEL MAR FUTURITY-GI, $300,500, Del Mar, 9-6, 2yo, 7f, 1:23.55, ft.
1–PINEHURST, 120, c, 2, by Twirling Candy
                1st Dam: Giant Win, by Giant's Causeway
                2nd Dam: Win's Fair Lady, by Dehere
                3rd Dam: Win Crafty Lady, by Crafty Prospector
   WIN. ($180,000 Wlg '19 KEENOV; $385,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP).
O-SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC,
Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay Schoenfarber,
Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable
& Siena Farm LLC; B-Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding
(KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Mike E. Smith. $180,000. Lifetime
Record: 2-2-0-0, $222,000. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple
   Plus*. Click for eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Finneus, 120, c, 2, Stay Thirsty–My Fiona, by Ghostzapper.
($200,000 Ylg '20 FTCAYR). O-Naseer Mohammed Fasihuddin,
Terry Lovingier & Amanda Navarro; B-Terry C. Lovingier (CA);
T-Walther Solis. $60,000.
3–American Xperiment, 123, c, 2, Nyquist–Lovely Lil, by
Tiznow. ($150,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Downstream Racing, LLC;
B-Allied Racing Stable, LLC (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.
Margins: 4HF, HF, HF. Odds: 4.00, 38.40, 5.10.
Also Ran: Pappacap, Murray, Olympic Legend. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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