08/15/2011 4:39PM

Del Mar: Drill joins Baffert's Futurity contenders


DEL MAR, Calif. - Drill, the winner of a maiden race on Saturday in his second start, is likely to return for the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 7, and could provide Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert with his 10th winner in the Grade 1 race.

Saturday, Drill fought between horses through 6 1/2 furlongs, took a three-length lead in the stretch and held off a late run from Seal the Deal to win by a neck. Baffert said on Sunday that he would have preferred that Drill had raced from off the pace, but that little option was available when Drill drew the rail.

“He doesn’t want to run on the lead,” he said. “If he had been outside, he would have laid off of it.”

Drill was eighth in his debut on July 30. He was fitted with blinkers for the first time on Saturday.

Baffert had three recent maiden race winners who are candidates for the Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs, including Gun Boat and Secret Circle. The race is led by the stakes winners Creative Cause and Majestic City, and may also include Basmati, Cloud Hopper, I’ll Have Another, Mighty Monsoon, and Sheer Talent.