Saratoga and Del Mar close down their iconic summer meets on Labor Day.
Potential Kentucky Derby runners will be on display at Saratoga and Del Mar on Monday in the Grade I Hopeful and Grade I Del Mar Futurity. The Hopeful, a seven-furlong event worth $350,000, will be run as Race 10 on an 11-race card, with an approximate post time of 5:38 p.m. EST. The Del Mar Futurity, Race 9 of 10, is slated for 9 p.m. EST. The distance is seven furlongs and the purse is $300,000. Metro predicts which two-year-olds will emerge victorious below.
#7 MUCHO (8-5, morning-line favorite) was a decent second on debut at Belmont before blitzing a group of maidens at Saratoga last time out. He won that race by almost 10 lengths with Jose Ortiz aboard, and the rider will stick around to ride MUCHO in the Hopeful. The well-bred son of 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame appears to have a bright future for trainer Bill Mott.
#1 SOMBEYAY (5-1) was last seen winning the Sanford Stakes over this course. He drew the rail that day and does so again in the Hopeful. The Sanford was his third career start, so it’s possible he’ll show some more improvement for trainer Todd Pletcher as he picks up a furlong. Javier Castellano maintains the assignment.
#3 NITROUS (7-2) has yet to go six furlongs like his top two challengers, but he looked good breaking his maiden at 5.5 furlongs last time out, also at Saratoga. NITROUS appears to be the quickest from the gate, so they’ll have him to catch in the stretch. Ricardo Santana Jr. rides for Steve Asmussen.
Expect NITROUS to have the lead late before SOMBEYAY and MUCHO come rolling late, with the latter likely to prevail as the favorite.
The play: $4 exacta 7/1,3, $2 win 1 ($10)
Del Mar Futurity
#3 ROADSTER (6-5, morning-line favorite) will probably be a heavy favorite off his facile debut win for Bob Baffert. Mike Smith had
ROADSTER well-spotted while just off the pace early and brushed away his competition in the stretch. The son of Quality Road is a half-brother to three other winners, including former Grade I victor Ascend. ROADSTER shouldn’t have a problem with the extra furlong today and is clearly faster than the rest on paper.
#7 GAME WINNER (4-1) was also a impressive winner for Baffert in his unveiling despite a four-wide trip. Tiago Pereira picks up the mount on the son of Candy Ride, who drilled a bullet in preparation for the Del Mar Futurity.
#5 SPIN LIGHTNING (6-1) closed from far behind against a slow pace in his debut under Flavien Prat, who has the call once more. He should appreciate stretching out from five furlongs to seven.
Betting ROADSTER to win won’t yield a great return, but there’s some decent money to be made playing GAME WINNER and SPIN LIGHTNING beneath him in exactas (first two finishers in exact order).
The play: $5 exacta 3/5,7 ($10)