Since notching his first win in 1997, Bob Baffert has captured a record 13 editions of the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), including seven of the eight runnings since Hollywood Park closed in 2013. The Hall of Famer will be represented by three of the five contestants in Saturday’s two-year-old feature, including well-regarded maiden scorers Arabian Lion and Fort Bragg.
The Los Alamitos Futurity is a Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier, but the Baffert trio won’t be eligible to earn points since their trainer is suspended by Churchill Downs Inc.
That leaves Practical Move, who will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles following a third in the Nov. 20 Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar, and maiden Tall Boy to compete for points on a 10-4-3-2-1 basis.
Arabian Lion, a $600,000 son of top freshman sire Justify, graduated at first asking in mid-October as the odds-on favorite, leading wire-to-wire over six furlongs at Santa Anita, and the chestnut colt came back to finish second at 3-5 in a seven-furlong allowance on the Breeders’ Cup Friday undercard at Keeneland, missing by less than a length against unbeaten Giant Mischief. John Velazquez will take over the assignment in Arabian Lion’s two-turn debut.
Fort Bragg finished first when stretching to a two-turn mile in his second start, but was disqualified and placed second for interference. Bet down to 3-10 in a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Santa Anita on Nov. 4, the $700,000 Tapit colt led wire-to-wire, and he was flattered when runner-up Reincarnate came back to break his maiden next out. Flavien Prat picks up the mount, and Fort Bragg will remove blinkers.
Carmel Road, an 8 3/4-length maiden romper in his second outing at Del Mar, will attempt to rebound from a 13th in the Oct. 8 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. Juan Hernandez rides the $650,000 son of Quality Road.