Klimt Wins Del Mar Futurity

05.09.2016, by Jim
Klimt Wins Del Mar Futurity&h=223&w=348&zc=1

Klimt–owned by longtime horseman Kaleem Shah, trained by Bob Baffert and named for a deceased Austrian painter–took the victory in Monday’s Grade 1, $300,345 Del Mar Futurity. Baffert has flat out dominated the Del Mar Futurity and Monday’s win was his 13th in 21 tries. Klimt went off as the second choice among bettors and covered seven furlongs in 1:21.80. Rafael Bejarano was aboard Klimt for this race.

After the race, Baffert deflected attention on his impressive performance in the Del Mar Futurity: “We’re fortunate to have these good horses, and the clients who step up to buy them. We’ve made good draft picks. What a way to end the meet. Kaleem always wanted one of those jockey statues.” Baffert is referring to Del Mar’s tradition of painting the lawn jockeys in the paddock area in the colors of the winners owners of the Pacific Classic, Del Mar Debutante, and Del Mar Futurity. Shah’s Dortmund had finished third in the Pacific Classic but he had to withdraw his filly American Gal from the Debutante prior to the race. Klimt took care of business, making short work of post time favorite Straight Fire to take the win by 4 1/4 lengths.

Baffert’s previous Del Mar Futurity winners comprise a very impressive list: American Pharoah (2014), Rolling Fog (2012), Drill (2011), Lookin at Lucky (2009), Midshipman (2008), Icecoldbeeratreds (2002), Officer (2001), Flame Thrower (2000), Forest Camp (1999), Worldly Manner (1998), Souvenir Copy (1997), and Silver Charm (1996).

Baffert thinks that Klimt is a better horse at longer distances. The final goal this year is entry into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile: “We always thought he’d be better going two turns. He’s got a great mind, will sit off horses.”

The race was marred by tragedy as Chasing Aces was pulled up in the stretch. After the race it was determined that he had a slab fracture of the left knee and had to be euthanized. Trainer Peter Miller tried to make sense of what happened: “It probably happened when he ducked in. The knee slabbed and collapsed. The vets said they hadn’t seen anything like that in years. The humane thing to do was put him down. I’m heartbroken, devastated.”

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