09/01/2014 2:01PM

Skyway looks to cap big meet in Del Mar Futurity

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Benoit & Associates
Skyway, winning the Best Pal earlier in the Del Mar meet, has helped trainer Mark Casse enjoy a successful Del Mar meet.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Usually, it’s the Rose Parade that convinces Easterners to relocate to California. It took trainer Mark Casse just one summer at Del Mar.

Casse brought a strong group of horses to Del Mar, and they have performed well. Though Casse has far more seconds than firsts, he’s won enough races to pay for a summer rental, and the overall success of his stable has convinced the peripatetic trainer to establish a year-round presence in Southern California.

Casse is hoping to end the meet on a high note on closing-day Wednesday, when he sends out the likely favorite, Skyway, in the Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity for 2-year-olds. Skyway provided Casse with his first Del Mar stakes win one month ago in the Grade 2 Best Pal, the major prep for the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity.

:: Del Mar closing day: Get PPs, watch Wednesday's card live

“I couldn’t be happier with the way the meet has gone,” Casse said. “We were a little unlucky with a couple of seconds, but overall, we’ve done well, and from a soundness standpoint, our horses have done exceptional here. I love the place. I love the temperature. And I’m looking forward to staying and racing out here year-round.”

Skyway drew the outside post in a field of nine.

“I’m very happy with the draw,” Casse said. “He’s the kind of horse who wants you to grab him and get into a rhythm.”

Casse will be trying to stop the juggernaut in this race that has been Bob Baffert, who has won the Del Mar Futurity a record 11 times, all since 1996. Baffert has two runners this year in Holiday Camp and American Pharoah.

Holiday Camp won his debut June 7 at Santa Anita but finished last of six 15 days later in the Santa Anita Juvenile. This is his first start since.

“I think I ran him back a little too soon,” Baffert said. “With the extra time, he’s come around, but I do think he’ll benefit by the race.”

American Pharoah was highly touted before his lone start but finished fifth of nine as the 7-5 choice. Both before and since that race, he has trained very well.

Four of the runners, including American Pharoah, are maidens, with many of those entered because the acknowledged leader of the local division, Om, was forced to pass the race.

The Del Mar Futurity is race 8 on a 10-race card that begins at 2 p.m. Pacific. Because it is closing day, there will be mandatory payouts in all pools, including the pick six.

KEY CONTENDERS

SKYWAY (Beyers: 80-66-N/A)

◗ Has raced twice on Polytrack and has won both times. In addition to the Best Pal, he was an easy winner of his debut at Keeneland in April.

◗ His lone loss came on dirt at Churchill Downs in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor, which Casse attributes to a sluggish start from an inside post.

HENRY’S HOLIDAY (Beyers: 77-69-76)

◗ Made a nice run to finish second behind Skyway in the Best Pal and only figures to improve with the extra 110 yards in the Futurity.

IRON FIST (Beyers: 80-64)

◗ Still a maiden but moved forward from his first start to his second and has a right to continue that improving pattern here. He likely will be even better when he gets to go two turns.

◗ Tied with Skyway for the best Beyer Speed Figure in the race, his earned when finishing second last time out to Om.

◗ The son of Tapit was a $1.55 million yearling purchase.

OH NEWMAN (Beyer: 65)

◗ Worth a longshot look in here off a troubled debut in which he finished third after breaking poorly and then encountering traffic.

sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Good, no more DelMar.
KissmeCatexoxo More than 1 year ago
Calculator stumbled bad in his first start opening week. I was waiting for him all along and he ran a big one today.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Anybody have any serious opinions on this race? American Pharaoh looks like a longshot threat, pressed early and then faded, in Oms 7 1/4 romp, AP was only 9 lengths behind, and Om isn't in here, he could move up big time, as well as Oh Newman, but everyone will see the troubled trip and might give too much credit for the 10 length gain he made, so I'm sure he might take a lot of play making an underlay? Good Luck All, players and Horses!!
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Jeez, 3-1, I didn't realize it was a Baffert Horse, but can't complain..Calculator, same thing as AP, same race, etc, hope some of you caught it..
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Blame it on Baffert.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
That'd be a great name for a horse :)
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
It sure would. LOL
Michael More than 1 year ago
Folks, 'Henry's Holiday' will pour-it on in the stretch and win by daylight here. I think this young colt has big things ahead of him.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Good pick, and I might use underneath, for speed figs, first race he got a 76 in MSW, 3rd start, a 77 in G2 company, a forward move after that race can put him right there, hope you (we) get a fair price :)
Rosemarie Cola More than 1 year ago
Was Red Button scratched? He seemed like a nice colt in first race win. Shame if he is.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Wont DelMar just close already? Awful racing all summer long. Saratoga COMPLETELY overshadows this track. There is no two ways about it. Keep that glitzy, glamorous garbage away from racing, get 2 REAL surfaces and become relevant. Real horseplayers aren't playing here.
Kendall Daniels More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure what a "real" horse player is but the pick 6 pools on the weekend are routinely larger than Saratoga, and the pick 5 pools are always near half a million, compared to Saratoga's quarter of a million. I'd say "real" horse players play both of those 2 wagers and they obviously disagree with you.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
When you can not handicap an entire track based on FORM, you are gambling with your head in your AHHHS. By the way, the handle is dropping at DelMar. You only broadcast what makes a point for you.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
It depends how you define form, I don't consider when a horse finishes 2,3, or 4, that they are necessarily automatically in "form" Look for early speed, not just a horse showing early speed as in running or showing 1's or 2's etc, early speed come's in many different forms, and try to determine what horses will benefit in their next race(s) AP showed the "conventional definition of early speed then faded, beaten 9 len Good Luck!!
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Post was sent prematurely, sorry.. ***AP showed the "conventional definition of early speed then faded, beaten 9 lengths, but Om won by 7, so AP was only 2 lengths away from 2nd, that is good form "darkened" by the 9lengths he was beaten..
georget More than 1 year ago
Don't bother to teach him to handicap-he obviously can't stand learning.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
You don't have a clue what he just said. Don't aspire to know what he just said. You're making a fool of yourself.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Fools money.
FESTUS ELROY More than 1 year ago
Dont listen to this guy,He insinuated Los Alamitos had a synthetic track in his earlier post.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
No I didn't. I know of the message you're referring to about Shared Belief. Im well aware he won on dirt at Los Al. But, really, its Los Al. No relevance.
JEMII More than 1 year ago
While I agree Saratoga is a better track, it does not COMPLETELY overshadow Del Mar. The lack of a quality field in the Pacific Classic was surprising, however to suggest DMTC is not "relevant" is nonsense.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
I love Toga, and I think they are the premiere summer track and meet, Del Mar is still one of the finest, too, and am very happy we have both, I think they compliment each other.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
You used complement incorrectly. You can't teach people lessons and be uneducated at the same time.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Well, since you had to say sumthin like that, maybe you should learn the meaning of the word, which is spelled both ways, and I won't be mean pointing out your lack of education on the subject matter we're discussing, good luck to you anyways..
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Even an old dog like you might be able to learn how to handicap one of these years, and maybe, just maybe, you might be able to educate yourself , herein endeth the lesson...
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
True. What else is there to do out there?
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Have to disagree, after the initial problems, Del Mar was a very good meet, and you have to adapt to synth, just mo..Good Luck going forward..
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Initial problems? What the constant deaths of the horses? Is that what you refer to? Well, Im glad you were able to get over that and enjoy the rest of the meet.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
You're wrong, I don't get over any deaths by horses, the turf course was not safe, and the main wasn't the culprit, like the turf.