Saturday’s $350,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) is the final Kentucky Derby qualifier of 2015, awarding points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers, and four-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert will send out the two likely favorites, Mor Spirit and Toews on Ice.
Previously held at the now-defunct Hollywood Park, Baffert has captured a record seven runnings of the 1 1/16-mile Futurity, including last year’s edition with Dortmund. A Hall of Famer, Baffert is known to even casual fans as the trainer of American Pharoah, who snapped a 37-year Triple Crown drought earlier this year.
Mor Spirit, the 8-5 choice on the morning line, has already earned 4 points toward a berth in the 2016 Run for the Roses, finishing second as the favorite to Airoforce in the Nov. 28 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs. The son of Eskendreya posted a smart 4 ¼-length maiden score at Santa Anita two starts back and will be ridden by Gary Stevens, a three-time Kentucky Derby winner.
Toews on Ice, the 9-5 second choice on the morning line, brings a three-race stakes-winning streak into the Futurity, most recently capturing the Nov. 14 Bob Hope (G3) at Del Mar as the 4-5 favorite. A speedy son of Archarcharch, the colt will be making his first attempt around two turns with jockey Martin Garcia.
The seven-horse field also includes stakes winner Hollywood Don, who switches back to dirt after a ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) for Peter Miller, and stakes-placed contestants Frank Conversation and I’m Already There.