The Los Alamitos Futurity ... O’Neill’s Andy Doesn’t Slow Down

The Los Alamitos Futurity is now in the books ... See who won, and how, below!
The Los Alamitos Futurity is now in the books ... See who won, and how, below!

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The 2021 Los Alamitos Futurity is in the books, and Bob Baffert’s heavy favorite, Messier #3, failed to close the deal in the end. It was actually Doug O’Neill’s Slow Down Andy #5 (by Nyquist) that battled him down the lane, en route to an awe-inspiring victory. With that win, the son of secured a precious 10 points, to be applied for entry into KYD148. As for Messier #3, a colt owned by SF Racing, this runner does not get the benefit of the points (nor does Barossa #4, the other half of an uncoupled entry), since his trainer is officially sidelined by Churchill Downs for 2 years. 

As for the race shape, it was a clean and pretty even break at the outset. With Micheal Wrona’s pithy call, it was Luis Mendez’s Olympic Legend #1 who seized the lead early on. He was joined by O’Neill’s uncoupled Durante #2, and the chalk positioned himself in the 3-path. Early on into the backstretch, it appeared that jockey Flavian Prat was attempting to keep Baffert’s ace steady, but also be aggressive enough to “take it to” the leaders. Expending a good bit of energy, that speed duel took its toll. In the meantime, O’Neill’s #5, loped along … biding his time with jockey Mario Gutierrez aboard. 

Quickly, as the race reached the final turn, Messier #3 was joined by quite an onslaught. “Andy” #5 was rolling, and after he put away Baffert’s other “half” (Barossa #4), it was a duel to the wire. Prat urged his mount on, and looked like a rally was more than a possibility, but every time he attempted to get by, his rival would respond in-kind. In the end, it was O’Neill’s runner that was the star of the show. Rewarding bettors with $12.40 for a $2.00 win bet, it was a quite a day for the two-time KYD-winning trainer. Does he have a 3rd one in the making? As they did with Nyquist back in 2016 when he won the Derby, Reddam Racing has a candidate with legs. It is always possible at this stage of the year. Rounding out the minors, once that pair crossed the line it was only Durante #2 that garnered the final KYD Points, as Baffert’s Barossa #4 ended up 3rd (no KYD Points). Now, one more puzzle piece to the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” is in place … much more to come.

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