09/07/2011 8:34PM

Del Mar: Drill gives Baffert yet another Futurity win

Benoit & Associates
Drill (left) and Majestic City collide in the stretch of the Del Mar Futurity on Wednesday, interfering with Creative Cause, who was racing just behind them. Drill, under Martin Garcia, won the race, and Majestic City was disqualified from second to third for coming out under David Flores.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano every year, so it seems does Bob Baffert win the Del Mar Futurity.

Baffert did it again on Wednesday, winning the Grade 1, $250,000 Futurity for the 10th time in its last 16 runnings, this time with Drill, who survived a bumpy stretch run to prevail in the closing-day feature at Del Mar.

Drill ($10.40), racing in the middle of the track, crossed the wire a neck in front of Majestic City, with 4-5 favorite Creative Cause another three-quarters of a length back in third while between those two. But Majestic City, who was inside those two, bore out sharply under left-handed whipping of David Flores in the final 50 yards and walloped Creative Cause, who in turn turned Drill sideways.

After a lengthy inquiry, the stewards placed Majestic City behind Creative Cause, while leaving Drill first.

Drill completed seven furlongs on Polytrack in 1:22.16 under jockey Martin Garcia, who lost his whip just outside the sixteenth pole.

Baffert trains Drill for Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, the same ownership group that won the Futurity two years ago with Lookin At Lucky. Like Lookin At Lucky, Drill will be given a chance to be the champion 2-year-old, with planned starts in the Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita, and then the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

“These guys are lucky, but they’re lucky because they leave me alone,” Baffert said. “I just text them after I buy a horse for them and say, ‘You bought one.’”

Drill, by Lawyer Ron, was purchased one year ago as a yearling at Keeneland for $300,000.

This was a busy summer at Del Mar for Drill, who ran three times. He threw a fit in the gate before his debut on July 30, then showed good speed to beat maidens in his second start Aug. 13. What impressed Baffert about the Futurity is that Drill settled and finished.

“I told Martin I want you to teach him today, but I want you to win also,” Baffert said. “He got him behind horses. He rode him with a lot of confidence. He’s learning how to run. I don’t even think he likes Polytrack that much. I’m excited that he came through.”

The Del Mar Futurity is a Win and You’re In race for the BC Juvenile. Drill is not yet nominated to the Breeders’ Cup. According to Breeders’ Cup spokesman Jim Gluckson, the owners must pay $100,000 by Oct. 24 to nominate Drill to the Breeders’ Cup program. If they pre-enter him in the BC Juvenile, the Breeders’ Cup puts up a $10,000 travel allowance to get Drill to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.