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Mario Gutierrez returns aboard Game Winner after winning the 2018 Del Mar Futurity
Labor Day marks the end of the Del Mar summer meet. Just 8,654 fans came out on an overcast holiday Monday with temperatures in the low 70's, with the main track rated fast and the Jimmy Durante Turf Course going firm. The feature race on closing day and the final stakes of the meeting is the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity Stakes (G1) for 2-year-olds sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Roadster was sent off as the 7-10 favorite in the field of 6 off his debut win by 4 1/4 lengths on July 29. In to challenge him included 8-5 second choice Game Winner, a debut winner by 5 3/4 lengths on August 18, and 7-1 third choice Rowayton, a debut winner by 1 3/4 lengths on July 21.
Game Winner rallies down the center in the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Game Winner Gutierrez 5.20 3.20 2.10 2 Rowayton Van Dyke 5.00 2.40 3 Roadster Smith 2.10 Winning Time: 1:23.18 $1 Exacta 7-2 16.10 $2 Quinella 7-2 19.70 $1 Trifecta 7-2-3 21.65 $1 Superfecta 7-2-3-6 100.30Results Chart
Left: Game Winner in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "Going down the backside (Rowayton) was way out there and sometimes if you get out there like that you can steal a race. I just hoped my guys knew they were in good spots. I knew they'd have to sprint home. I knew coming in that (Game Winner) was coming back a little quick, but he's a big strong heavy horse and I knew he could handle it. I'd rather run him again than keep working him."
Right: Game Winner heads back to the barn after the race.
Left: Game Winner in the post parade. Winning jockey Mario Gutierrez said, "He (Baffert) told me 'You know how to ride good horses; go ahead and ride him like you can.' He said he wanted me to give him a little help out of the gate, then he said he thought he'd be strong for the finish. He was so right. I'm so happy for this opportunity; I'm so happy this worked out this way."
Right: Game Winner returns after the race. This is Baffert's 14th Del Mar Futurity win, and 126th stakes win at Del Mar, both records.
Left: Second place finisher Rowayton in the paddock. Jockey Drayden Van Dyke said, "That was the plan – to just go for it. He did and he ran good. He fought me on changing leads once more; he fought me on the right (lead). But he'll learn; he'll get better."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Roadster in the post parade. Trainer Bob Baffert said, I'm a little disappointed in (Roadster) but it was only his second outing and sometimes the second out when you break their maidens they can get a little flat on you." Jockey Mike Smith added, "I don't know what to say; I'm at a loss for words. I thought he'd run a whole lot better."
Summering wins the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes
Jockey Assael Espinoza sent 74-1 Noble Contessa to the lead first time by and she set fractions of 23.57, 48.91, and 1:13.58 while presed by Summering and stalked by 78-1 After the Rose and 10-1 Bizwhacks. Turning for home, Noble Contessa tired as Summering inheritd a 1 1/2 length lead through 7f in 1:25.29. Kept to task by Drayden Van Dyke, Summering easily held off late-running 17-1 Lady Prancealot by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:37.15. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Bizwhacks third.
Summering in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Craig Bernick said, "This is a very special place for our family. I think this is my 24h consecutive summer coming out here and the second since my grandfather (Leonard Lavin) passed away. It's nice to have a filly like this -- the fourth generation in the family that we've owned -- win a stakes in her second start. We'll go on to Santa Anita and if she wins again we'd consider the Breeders' Cup (Juvenile Fillies Turf) but she'd have to win well. One step at a time."
Winning jockey Drayden Van Dyke said, "This is sweet; to win a stakes in these silks (Glen Hill Farm, where he got his start riding for trainer Tom Proctor) makes this so special. Today I had what you'd call a golden trip. She was always there and fired big. And I had a tough time pulling her up; she wanted to keep on going. She's a good one." The 23-year-old Van Dyke won his first riding title at Del Mar, finishing the meeting with 42 victories, and also led all riders with 9 stakes wins. Last year's champ Flavien Prat finished second behind Van Dyke in both categories, 37 wins and 7 stakes wins.
Miss Sunset wins the C.E.R.F. Stakes
Jockey Evin Roman sent 32-1 Dis Smart Cat to the front through fractions of 22.56 and 45.94 while pressed by Miss Sunset and stalked by Show It N Moe It. Dis Smart Cat led to the 1/8 pole through 5f in 58.00 but tired late. Jockey Mike Smith sent Miss Sunset 3 wide to drive by to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths over Show It N Moe It in 1:10.48. It was a nose back to Dis Smart Cat third.
Miss Sunset in the winner's circle. The Jeff Bonde trainee improved her record to 10 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 18 starts, earning $879,395 for owners Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz.
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