Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) – Race 9 (6:58 p.m. ET)
Following a pair of impressive sprint wins, Grade 3 victor Messier will stretch to turns in Saturday’s $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2). The Bob Baffert-trained Empire Maker colt tops five runners in the 1 1/16-mile race.
The Los Alamitos Futurity (originally the Hollywood Futurity) will award points on a 10-4-2-1 scale as a Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier. However, horses trained by Baffert aren’t eligible to receive points.
A 13-time winner of the Los Alamitos Futurity, including the last seven editions, Baffert will also send out maiden winner Barossa, who exits a ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
Messier, a 6 1/2-length maiden winner in his second lifetime outing at Santa Anita in late October, romped by 3 1/2 lengths when making his stakes debut in the Nov. 14 Bob Hope S. (G3) over seven furlongs at Del Mar, netting a field-best 93 Brisnet Speed rating. Blinkers will back on, and Flavien Prat retains the mount on the stalker.
Two-time Kentucky Derby winner Doug O’Neill is responsible for Durante and Slow Down Andy.
Durante will jump to stakes competition following a wire-to-wire maiden tally in his third start last out, and the Distorted Humor colt figures to show speed with Umberto Rispoli. Slow Down Andy tries open rivals after a half-length second in the Nov. 5 Golden State Juvenile S. at Del Mar, and Mario Gutierrez rides.
Stakes-placed Olympic Legend completes the field.