The 2017 Los Alamitos Futurity ran on Saturday, December 9th as one of the featured stops on the 2018 Road to the Kentucky Derby and the finish was not without a bit of controversy. Solomini was able to charge to victory but was later disqualified for bumping his rivals during the heated homestretch battle. Instead, 1-2 favorite McKinzie was awarded the victory.
Each horse in the field of five had a strong moment as the race unfolded. At 60-1 odds, For Him was the early pace setter despite the longshot designation. For Him hit the quarter mile pole in :23.71 before Runaway Ghost ran impatiently to the front as an 8-1 outsider, with a :46.70 time at the half-mile mark. Around the second corner of the 1 1/16th mile race, Solomini and McKinzie stalked right off pace looking for their moment to strike.
McKinzie took off early down the homestretch along the inside due to urging from 17-1 longshot Instilled Regard. The two battled in tight quarters, until joined in the final lengths by Solomini, the 8-5 second choice. Solomini ran so close to his competition that he ended up bumping into Instilled Regard. The slight stumble didn’t throw anyone off course, but the contact may have impacted the on-track results. Solomini edged out a hard fought victory with his compatriots finishing a half-length behind.
However, after some review, officials for the 2017 Los Alamitos Futurity ruled that Solomini had illegally contacted his rivals. The victory was instead handed to McKinzie, who showed off his penchant for speed in his stakes debut.
Trainer Bob Baffert was a little annoyed by the decision, but admitted that Jockey Flavian Prat, “might have gotten a little over aggressive. It’s really too bad they took him down. He was the better horse today.”
McKinzie paid out $3.00 and $2.40 with the win due to his heavy odds, while Instilled Regard brought back a promising $6.80 to place. Solomini was relegated to third place overall but did not pay out any money due to the ruling.
The 2017 Los Alamitos Derby is a 10-4-2-1 point split on the Derby trail for the top four finishers, while also awarding a purse worth $300,000.
|1||Instilled Regard 17-1||$6.80|