Mastery is the one to beat among five rivals in Saturday’s $300,000 Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity (G1). Trained by four-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert, the unbeaten colt will look to continue his winning ways in his first two-turn start and the front-runner adds blinkers for the 1 1/16-mile test, which offers points on a 10-4-2-1 scale as a qualifying race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.
Mike Smith retains the mount after guiding the son of Candy Ride to a convincing victory in the 7-furlong Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar on November 19. Favored at 3-10 in both starts, Mastery opened his racing career with a runaway wire-to-wire tally at Santa Anita in late October.
Bob Hope sends Mastery on road to Kentucky Derby
Mastery’s BRIS Speed ratings (98 and 93) tower over the competition.
Baffert is also responsible for Show Me Da Lute, a 1 ¾-length scorer in his first start at Santa Anita on October 29. The Midnight Lute colt picks up the services of Martin Garcia and will start one spot to the outside of his stablemate in post 4.
Dangerfield is the other entrant with stakes experience, winning the Oak Tree Juvenile at Pleasanton before a non-threatening third in the November 19 Delta Jackpot (G3). Conditioned by Doug O’Neill, the Into Mischief colt will break from the rail with new jockey Drayden Van Dyke.
First-out winner Bobby Abu Dhabi was supplemented to the Futurity for a $10,000 fee. The Peter Miller-trained son of Macho Uno dueled from the start before prevailing by a head in a November 19 maiden special weight at Del Mar, registering a respectable 89 BRIS Speed rating in the 6 ½-furlong race. Norberto Arroyo Jr. returns to the saddle.
Irap, who is winless in two starts for O’Neill, completes the field.