09/08/2010 6:33PM

J P's Gusto much the best

Benoit & Associates
J P's Gusto and Patrick Valenzuela dominate the Del Mar Futurity.

DEL MAR, Calif. - In his best race yet, J P’s Gusto turned the Grade 1, $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on Wednesday into a one-horse show, romping by 4 1/2 lengths to record his fourth straight victory and securely stamp himself as the best 2-year-old male in California.

J P’s Gusto ($3.60), the favorite, set or forced the pace for five furlongs, then kicked clear at the top of the stretch under jockey Patrick Valenzuela. Jaycito came boldly from last in the 11-horse field to finish second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Riveting Reason and Indian Winter, who finished in a dead heat for third.

J P’s Gusto was timed in 1:22.95 for seven furlongs on Polytrack.

The victory was the highlight of terrific summer for Valenzuela, who found the Fountain of Youth at age 47. Twenty years ago, Valenzuela won the Del Mar Futurity with Best Pal.

“Just like Best Pal, he’s a very feisty horse,” Valenzuela said.

While J P’s Gusto may have been on edge in the post parade, he showed great maturity in the race, patiently waiting to receive his cue from Valenzuela despite outside pressure from Comma to the Top.

“He’s so smart. Around the turn, with the horse lapped on him, he was waiting for Patrick,” said David Hofmans, who trains J P’s Gusto.
“That’s what he does - he waits for the rider. He was just galloping, waiting for Patrick to give him his cue.”

J P’s Gusto, a son of Successful Appeal who is owned by Gem Inc., lost his debut, then won four straight, including three stakes. Hofmans said his next start will be in the Norfolk Stakes at the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park on Oct. 2.

Gato Go win foils Dancing in Silks's comeback
Gato Go Win, under an energetic ride by Rafael Bejarano, ran down Spaniard in the final strides on Wednesday at Del Mar to take the $80,175 Pirate’s Bounty Stakes for older sprinters, a race in which last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner, Dancing in Silks, was a dull fourth as the 6-5 favorite while making his first start since Feb. 20.

Spaniard, the early leader, finished second and Truest Legend was third.

Gato Go Win ($11.20) gave trainer Bobby Troeger his first stakes win. Gato Go Win completed six furlongs on Polytrack in 1:09.76.

* Fund Raiser ($8.80) was a half-length winner of the $78,175 CERF Stakes for older female sprinters. Holding Her Ground was second, Minute Limit third, and odds-on favorite Mother Ruth faded to last in the field of five.

Joel Rosario rode Fund Raiser for trainer Bob Baffert, who also sent out Mother Ruth. Fund Raiser was timed in 1:10.01 for six furlongs.