Derby Prep: Red Flag Stretches Out In Los Alamitos Futurity

Red Flag, an impressive winner of the Grade 3 Bob Hope in his stakes debut Nov. 15 at Del Mar, will try two turns for the first time in the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity this Saturday.

A Grade 2 held over 1 1/16 miles, the Futurity will be run for the seventh time at Los Alamitos after having its first 33 renewals at Hollywood Park (1981-2013).

Post time Saturday is 12 Noon. The Futurity is the fourth of 10 races and has a scheduled post time of 1:28 p.m.

Won in the past by stars such as Snow Chief, A.P. Indy, Best Pal, Real Quiet, Point Given, Lookin At Lucky and Shared Belief, the Futurity is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series. The winner Saturday will receive 10 points towards securing a spot in the starting gate next May 1 at Churchill Downs.

Owned by Jerry and Tina Moss and trained by John Shirreffs, Red Flag, who was supplemented to the Futurity for $7,500, has won two of three starts and banked $94,100.

A son of Tamarkuz and the Stormy Atlantic mare Surrender, Red Flag finished fifth in his career debut Sept. 6 at Del Mar, then scored a narrow victory when switched to turf Oct. 10 at Santa Anita, defeating next out graduate Gator Shining and five others.

Returned to dirt in the Hope, Red Flag was prominent from the outset while in the clear, then powered home in the final quarter of a mile to win by 7 ¼ lengths as a 10-1 outsider in the field of six.

Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella will be represented by Petruchio, who is owned by Claiborne Farm, Ramona and Perry Bass II and Adele Dilschneider.

A gelded son of Into Mischief – who won the 2007 Futurity at Hollywood Park for Mandella – and the Distorted Humor mare Satirical, Petruchio earned his first win in his fourth start, defeating maidens as the 11-10 favorite going one mile on turf Oct. 31 at Del Mar.

No worse than third in his career, Petruchio has earned $58,400.

Hall of Famer trainer Bob Baffert entered Spielberg as he seeks his seventh consecutive Futurity win at Los Alamitos. Baffert has won the previous six with Dortmund (2014), Mor Spirit (2015), Mastery (2016), McKinzie (2017), Improbable (2018) and Thousand Words (2019). All told, Baffert has won the Futurity 12 times.

Owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm LLC and Robert Masterson, Spielberg, a Union Rags colt out of the Smart Strike mare Miss Squeal, was the beaten favorite in the Hope, finishing a distant fourth at 3-5 odds.

On the board in two G1 races – second behind Dr. Schivel in the Del Mar Futurity and third in the American Pharoah won by Get Her Number – Spielberg is 1-for-5 with earnings of $137,200.

Besides Red Flag, Weston is the only other graded stakes winner in the field.

Co-owned by Chris Drakos and trainer Ryan Hanson, Weston captured the Grade 2 Best Pal earlier this year. The Hit It a Bomb gelding out of the Dixie Union mare Elke has won twice in four races and earned $152,000.

Before finishing fifth in the Hope, Weston was a first out winner June 21 and was third in the Del Mar Futurity a month after his Best Pal victory.

Second against fellow California breds in the Golden State Juvenile Nov. 7, Positivity will stretch out for trainer Paddy Gallagher in his second start since being purchased privately by Annie, Justyn and Charles Winner.

A son of Paynter and the City Zip mare Sam’s Sunny City, Positivity is 2-for-3 with earnings of $115,500. His two wins – including a stakes score in the Graduation Aug. 2 at Del Mar – came for former trainer Luis Mendez.

Trained by Doug O’Neill for a partnership that includes ERJ Racing LLC, The Great One is a three-start maiden with earnings of $7,340. In his most recent start Nov. 29, the Nyquist colt out of the El Corredor mare Little Ms Protocol was fourth after setting the pace in a one mile race on the Del Mar turf.

From inside out, the field for the Los Alamitos Futurity: Red Flag, Victor Espinoza rides, 120 pounds; Petruchio, Mike Smith, 120; The Great One, Abel Cedillo, 120; Weston, Tyler Baze, 120; Positivity, Drayden Van Dyke, 120 and Spielberg, Flavien Prat, 120.

The post Derby Prep: Red Flag Stretches Out In Los Alamitos Futurity appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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