Mastery wins CashCall Futurity; Baffert's record 9th win
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. (AP) Mastery won the $300,000 CashCall Futurity for 2-year-olds by a record 7 1/4 lengths Saturday at Los Alamitos, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record ninth win in the Grade 1 race.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Mastery ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.56 and paid $2.40 and $2.10 as the 1-5 favorite. The win price was the shortest in Futurity history, bettering the $2.60 paid by Baffert-trained Point Given in 2000.
It was the largest margin of victory in the 35-year history of the race that was first run at the old Hollywood Park. The old mark was seven lengths by Matty G in 1995.
The victory, worth $180,000, increased Mastery's career earnings to $271,200.
Irap returned $9.40 at 24-1 odds in his first start on dirt, while Dangerfield was another 5 3/4 lengths back in third. Both horses are trained by Doug O'Neill.
Bobby Abu Dhabi was fourth and Show Me Da Lute was fifth. There was no show wagering because of the small field.
Mastery earned 10 points for the victory and is in fifth place on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, which determines the 20-horse field for the first Triple Crown race of 2017.
Mastery improved to 3-0, having won his first race by 4 1/4 lengths and his second by 1 1/4 lengths. The 2-year-old cost was purchased for $425,000 at the Keeneland September sale last year.
''You don't know how they are going to do going two turns for the first time until they try it,'' Baffert said. ''Turning for home he hit a bit of a lull and l didn't know if he was going to go on or flatten out. The last part he threw it in another gear.''
Smith credited Baffert for putting blinkers back on Mastery to restrict his view. He first wore blinkers in career debut on Oct. 22.
''He relaxed great,'' Smith said. ''He started looking around a little when he made the front in the stretch, but after I gave him a reminder he re-broke and was strong.''
In the $301,380 Starlet for 2-year-old fillies, Abel Tasman took advantage of a quick pace and a ground-saving trip by jockey Joe Talamo to score a one-length upset.
She ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.35 and paid $27.20, $7.60 and $5.60 at 12-1 odds. Abel Tasman was supplemented to the Grade 1 race for $10,000 a few days earlier.
American Gal returned $2.60 and $2.20 as the 9-10 favorite, while 33-1 shot Mopotism was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $6.40 to show.
The victory increased Abel Tasman's career earnings to $247,860. She has three wins in four starts for trainer Simon Callaghan.