July 22, 2024

Wynstock staves off Stronghold to win Los Alamitos Futurity

Wynstock wins over Stronghold to win the the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course
Wynstock wins over Stronghold to win the the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course (Photo by Benoit Photography)

Six years after his sire, Solomini, was disqualified from first place in the same race, Wynstock survived an inquiry into the stretch run of Saturday’s $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and walked away the winner of the 1 1/16-mile test for two-year-olds.

The least regarded of trainer Bob Baffert’s three Futurity entries by bettors, Wynstock led virtually throughout to post a 13-1 upset. Headed by one of the two non-Baffert trainees, Stronghold, in deep stretch, Wynstock fought back to gain the upper hand nearing the finish. The stewards ruled there was mutual contact between the two and that there would be no change to the order of finish.

The winning margin was a half-length for Wynstock, who was ridden by Kyle Frey and covered the course in 1:43.53 over a fast track. He paid $29.40.

Stronghold just held second by a half-length over Coach Prime, the Baffert-trained colt who started as the 4-5 favorite but never seriously threatened for the win. The order of finish was rounded out by Wine Me Up and Ace of Clubs.

For Baffert, this was career win number 14 in the Los Alamitos Futurity, which began life as the Hollywood Futurity in 1981. It was moved to Los Alamitos in 2014, after Hollywood Park’s closure. Baffert won the first seven renewals contested at Los Alamitos. Wynstock races for Dr. Ed Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos, and Jack Liebau, the former president of Hollywood Park.

After running unplaced in his first two starts, both of which were sprints, Wynstock has now won back-to-back races around two turns. He preceded this with a 7 1/2-length maiden score at Santa Anita over a mile, also at odds of 13-1.

Bred in New York by Empire Equines, Wynstock was last sold in April for $700,000 at OBS. He was produced by Timberlea, a Flatter half-sister to Grade 3 winner Untrapped.  

Although the Los Alamitos Futurity is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series, only Stronghold (five points) and Ace of Clubs (one point) were eligible to earn qualifying points, due to Baffert’s current suspension from racing at Churchill Downs.