Best Pal Stakes winner Klimt is the 123-pound highweight for the Del Mar Futurity

Best Pal Stakes winner Klimt is the 123-pound highweight for the Del Mar Futurity

Benoit Photo

Futurity Brings Down Curtain at Del Mar

Klimt, Chasing Aces head Labor Day grade I.

The 77th summer season of Thoroughbred racing at Del Mar comes to an end Sept. 5 with a vintage renewal of the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I), the seven-furlong contest for 2-year-olds which has been pivotal in the development of future stars, including the last three winners of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)—Eclipse Award champions California Chrome , American Pharoah , and Nyquist .

California Chrome was a troubled sixth in the 2013 Futurity, but went on to Horse of the Year honors the next season en route to becoming North America's richest money-winner of all-time, with earnings of more than $13 million.

American Pharoah ended a 37-year drought when he swept the 2015 Triple Crown, the first since Affirmed in 1978, and also was acclaimed Horse of the Year after a memorable triumph in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).

Nyquist followed up his Futurity victory with success in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), and earned recognition as 2015's best 2-year-old, setting the stage for his Kentucky Derby win last spring.

Three potential stars head the field in Monday's 69th Futurity.
Chasing Aces bettered Soldier Girl's 52-year-old Del Mar record for five furlongs when he blistered the distance in 56.21 seconds in breaking his maiden July 17.

Straight Fire, runner-up to Chasing Aces, returned brilliantly Aug. 6 when he won by 10 1/2 lengths in 1:14.94 for 6 1/2 furlongs.

Klimt  won the Futurity steppingstone Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 13 in game fashion and is trainer Bob Baffert's hopeful for an incredible 13th Futurity triumph; he carries high weight of 123 pounds.

Tyler Baze returns aboard Chasing Aces, who is trained by Peter Miller; Kent Desormeaux again has the call from brother Keith Desormeaux on Straight Fire, and Rafael Bejarano will pilot Klimt.

Completing the line-up are stylish debut winner Midnight Pleasure, and maidens Vegas Itch and Dynamic Ruler

Entries: Del Mar Futurity (G1)

Del Mar, Monday, September 05, 2016, Race 5

  • Grade I
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $300,000
  • 2 yo
  • 4:03 PM (local)
11Chasing Aces (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze120Peter Miller9/5
22Straight Fire (KY)Kent J. Desormeaux120J. Keith Desormeaux8/5
33Midnight Pleasure (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin Garcia120Shelbe Ruis10/1
44Vegas Itch (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJamie Theriot118George Papaprodromou20/1
55Dynamic Ruler (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat118Vann Belvoir20/1
66Klimt (KY)Rafael Bejarano123Bob Baffert2/1