January 16, 2021

Red Flag looks to continue rapid ascent in Los Alamitos Futurity

Red Flag wins Bob Hope S. 2020
Red Flag wins the Bob Hope S. (Benoit Photo)

Los Alamitos Futurity — Race 4 (4:28 p.m. ET)

He looked like a potentially smart colt winning the Bob Hope (G3) last month by more than seven lengths in a 10-1 upset, but Red Flag will look to ace a more important test on Saturday when attempting two turns for the first time in the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2).

The 1 1//16-mile Futurity attracted of a field of six, four of whom will earn 2021 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The top four finishers will respectively earn points of 10-4-2-1 in the final Road to the Kentucky Derby series prep scheduled in 2020.

A son of Tamarkuz, Red Flag leapt into the classic discussion with a dynamite effort in the 7-furlong Bob Hope at Del Mar on Nov. 15, which came a little more than a month after the colt broke his maiden in a photo while sprinting on the turf. Three-time Derby-winning rider Victor Espinoza stays aboard.

Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Futurity 12 times, including the last six renewals with such standouts as Mastery, McKinzie, and Improbable. He relies solely on Spielberg, who has won only once in five outings and was a badly-beaten fourth as the odds-on choice in the Bob Hope. Also likely to be part of the pace, and thus helping a horse like Red Flag, are Best Pal (G2) winner Weston, a distant fifth in the Bob Hope last time, and the California-bred stakes performer Positivity.

Completing the short field are Petruchio, a recent maiden winner at the Del Mar meeting in his fourth lifetime start, and the three-race maiden The Great One.