Pinehurst Wins Runhappy Futurity On Del Mar’s Closing Day

Pinehurst scooted to the front in the seven-furlong Runhappy Del Mar Futurity Monday, then just kept on scooting all the way around to score a handy 4 1/2-length triumph in the 74th edition of the seaside track’s Grade 1, $300,000 2-year-old championship race.

It was closing afternoon for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s 82nd summer season in Del Mar, Calif., and it ended as many have over the past 25 years, with trainer Bob Baffert saddling the winner of the Futurity. This time was No. 15 for the Hall of Fame conditioner who has shown an affinity with young horses that few other trainers can even think of.

Another Hall of Famer, old pro Mike Smith, rode Pinehurst and nursed him through quick fractions of :22.09, :44.77, 1:10.17 and a final of 1:23.55. It was Smith’s first stakes score of the summer and his first in the Futurity.

Finishing second was Lovingier, Fasihuddin or Navarro’s Finneus, who had a half length on Downstream Racing’s American Xperiment.

“When we ran last time, he stumbled pretty badly coming out of there, but he still made the lead,” said Smith. “So I knew he was plenty quick. We beat a horse that day (August 1) 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 (trainer Baffert), 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 1.”

Pinehurst won a first prize of $180,000 for his efforts and, added to the $42,000 he was awarded for his maiden victory at Del Mar on Aug/. 1, he now shows a bankroll of $222,000. He’s a bay colt by Twirling Candy who cost $385,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September Sale. Pinehurst was bred in Kentucky by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding.  He races for SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E. Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A. Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan, Golconda Stable and Siena Farm LLC.

Pinehurst paid $10.00, $5.40 and $4.00 across the board. Finneus returned $18.00 and $7.80 and American Xperiment paid $5.00.

Earlier in the card, ERJ Racing and Kenney’s Mackinnon outran eight rivals in the $102,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf, finishing the mile on the grass in 1:36.24.

The winner was handled by Juan Hernandez and is trained by Doug O”Neill.

Finishing second was Aiden Butler’s Thirty Four Coupe, just a nose ahead of Sierra Racing or Sterling Stables’ Silver Surfer.

“He broke his maiden (here July 31) in a manner that we were hoping this day would come but you never know,” said O’Neill. “So much credit to the owners being so patient and Juan (Hernandez) being so patient with this colt. I was a little bit concerned as the race unfolded. I knew that (Optimising) was the X-factor. I knew he was in from Europe and had been working well and had great connections and was in a great spot. But when Juan called on MacKinnon and he responded I started smiling. If he stays injury free the ($1 Million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 5) is the goal.”

Mackinnon earned $60,000 for his win and increased his bankroll to $117,860. As the 8/5 favorite he paid $5.20 $3.40 and $240.  Thirty Four Coupe returned $14.60 and $7.00, while Silver Surfer paid $3.20.

Mackinnon is a chestnut colt by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Mackinnon and jockey Juan Hernandez win the Del Mar Juvenile Turf

In the track’s Pick 6 Single Ticket Jackpot wager, the “mandatory payout” pool reached $5,153,316 and rewarded 8,238 ticket holders with $561.74 each.

Racing will resume at Del Mar on Wednesday, Nov. 3.  The track will host its second Breeders’ Cup Championship on November 5 and 6.

The post Pinehurst Wins Runhappy Futurity On Del Mar’s Closing Day appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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