Bob Baffert continued his domination of the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) on Saturday when Thousand Words staved off 6-5 favorite Anneau d’Or after a prolonged stretch duel to the win the 1 1/16-mile feature by a neck under Flavien Prat.
This was the 12th win the Futurity for the Hall of Fame trainer, who first won the race in 1997 at its original home of Hollywood Park. Baffert has won all six runnings of the event since the race was transferred to Los Alamitos and renamed in 2014.
Applying steady pressure to pacesetting stablemate High Velocity, who carved out fractions of :22.47, :45.87, and 1:10.43, Thousand Words finally poked his head in front of that rival approaching the eighth pole. However, ranging up on the outside was Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Anneau d’Or, who tried valiantly to get by only to be bravely repelled in the final sixteenth.
“He broke fine and relaxed perfectly,” Prat said. “He was looking around a little bit when he made the lead, but when (Anneau d’Or) came to him, he regrouped and fought back.”
“When that horse came to him he took off and when he came back after the race he wasn’t even blowing hard,” Baffert said. “Distance isn’t going to be a problem. That’s impressive when they can win like that second time out.”
Thousand Words is now 2-for-2 with earnings of $151,000. He won on debut by a half-length going 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Oct. 26.
Racing for Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm, Thousand Words returned $5.40 after completing the course in 1:43.19 over a track labeled good but which appeared more muddy. Anneau d’Or was five lengths ahead of High Velocity, while Wrecking Crew was eased home last of the quartet.
With only four horses in the field, all entrants earned Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying points. Thousand Words earned 10, Anneau d’Or 4 (bringing his total to 12), High Velocity 3, and Wrecking Crew 1.
Costing $1 million at Keeneland September, Thousand Words is by Pioneerof the Nile, who won the 2008 Futurity, and out of multiple Grade 2 winner Pomeroys Pistol, by Pomeroy.