Best Pal winner Skyway returns in the Del Mar Futurity.

Best Pal winner Skyway returns in the Del Mar Futurity.

Benoit Photo

Best Pal Winner Skyway Returns for Futurity

John Oxley's grade II victor draws outside post in Del Mar's closing-day feature.

Skyway and Henry's Holiday, first and second in the Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) last time out, head the field for the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) as the popular summer meet comes to a close Sept. 3.

Nine juveniles are entered in the seven-furlong Polytrack test, race 8 of 10 on the Wednesday Del Mar program with a 5:30 p.m. PDT tentative post.

Skyway, the 1 1/4-length victor in the Aug. 3 Best Pal at 6 1/2 furlongs as the 2-1 favorite, will likely be the choice once again after drawing the far outside post. Corey Nakatani replaces the injured Stewart Elliott aboard the son of Sky Mesa  who is trained by Mark Casse for owner John Oxley.

Skyway gave Casse, who is spending his first summer at Del Mar, his first victory at the seaside track. In defeating the Doug O'Neill-trained Henry's Holiday in the Best Pal, Skyway was timed in 1:16.67.

He broke his maiden on Polytack in his debut at Keeneland in April, then ran third while in tight in the Bashford Manor (gr. III) at Churchill Downs June 28 before shipping west.

As the lone stakes winner, Skyway is the 122-pound topweight in the Del Mar Futurity. The chestnut colt has had two works since the Best Pal, most recently clocking five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 Aug. 24.

Success Racing's improving Henry's Holiday split foes in the Best Pal after racing at the back of the field and rallied at the rail to be second best. He gets a four-pound weight break this time and an extra sixteenth of a mile to work with. Tyler Baze is back aboard from post 6.

Only one other horse in the field has stakes experience, Holiday Camp. He has not raced since finishing last of six June 22 in the Santa Anita Juvenile after a rough start as the even-money choice. Trained by Bob Baffert for Michael Lund Peterson, the son of Street Boss  has every right to improve and has been working well at Del Mar. He posted a six-furlong move in 1:12 Aug. 27. Martin Garcia retains the mount.

Baffert also entered maiden American Pharoah , who weakened to fifth as 7-5 favorite Aug. 9 against maiden foes.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer also has a maiden in the field coming out of the same race. Iron Fist finished second to Om in the 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack test.

Also in the field are last-out maiden winners Red Button and Inexcess Time. Maidens Oh Newman, third to Inexcess Time Aug. 3, and Calculator complete the field.

Entries: Del Mar Futurity (G1)

Del Mar, Wednesday, September 03, 2014, Race 8

  • Grade I
  • 7f
  • All Weather Track
  • $300,000
  • 2 yo
  • 5:35 PM (local)
11American Pharoah (KY)Victor Espinoza116Bob Baffert-
22Oh Newman (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAaron T. Gryder116Philip D'Amato-
33Inexcess Time (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoseph Talamo118Walther Solis-
44Calculator (FL)Elvis Trujillo116Peter Miller-
55Iron Fist (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith116Jerry Hollendorfer-
66Henry's Holiday (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze118Doug F. O'Neill-
77Red Button (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRafael Bejarano118Mark Glatt-
88Holiday Camp (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin Garcia118Bob Baffert-
99Skyway (NY)Corey S. Nakatani122Mark E. Casse-