Cooperation, Minister Eric Work for Futurity

(from Del Mar track notes)
Trainer Bob Baffert's top prospect for an eighth straight Del Mar Futurity victory lived up to his name Thursday morning when the 2-year-old Cooperation buzzed five furlongs in :59 2/5 to wind up preparations for Wednesday's $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) at seven furlongs on the main track.

"He went really well," Baffert said after the work. "All systems are go. Jerry Bailey will be in to ride."

Richard Mandella trainee Minister Eric was clocked in 1:00 3/5 in another five-furlong drill on the main track. Mandella said, "I'm very happy with the work. My two are doing great."

His other Futurity prospect, Siphonizer, is scheduled to work Friday, the trainer said.

Earlier in the morning, Bewitching Bartok logged a three-furlong blowout in :33 1/5. He's a prospect for either the I'm Smokin for 2-year-old Cal-breds Monday or the Futurity. as is Winter Squall, who worked five furlongs in :58 4/5 Wednesday, is also nominated to both races.

Best Pal Stakes (gr. III) winner Perfect Moon finished his final major preparation for the Futurity with a seven-furlong drill in 1:26 3/5 Tuesday. Trainer Mel Stute said he wanted a little faster work, but was satisfied with what the gelding got out of the effort. Stute said he would blow out his runner either Monday or Tuesday in a three-furlong drill.

Gulf of Mexico, who was an impressive maiden winner recently at Del Mar, will put in his final serious work for the Futurity on Saturday, trainer Eoin Harty said. The colt will probably go a half-mile, Harty said.

A couple of earlier prospects are on the shelf and won't be running in the Futurity. Trainer Jerry Dutton has turned out Wild Babe after a last-place finish in the Best Pal, and Derek Meredith's Listenforthetruth suffered a fractured cannon bone during a workout at Santa Anita, and has had successful surgery on the injury.