THE FRONTRUNNER, WON LAST YEAR BY EVENTUAL TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPION AMERICAN PHAROAH, IS ONE OF FIVE GRADE I, BREEDERS’ CUP CHALLENGE ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ STAKES
TO BE OFFERED AS PART OF 11-RACE BLOCKBUSTER CARD ON OPENING DAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2015)–A runaway winner of the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 7, Reddam Racing’s undefeated Nyquist looms a short priced favorite as he tries two turns for the first time Saturday in Santa Anita’s Grade I, $300,000 FrontRunner Stakes, which has attracted a field of eight juveniles and will be contested at 1 1/16 miles.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, the bay colt by Uncle Mo followed up on a gutty first-out maiden win going five furlongs at Santa Anita with impressive wins in both the Grade II Best Pal Stakes going 6 ½ furlongs Aug. 8 and the seven furlong Del Mar Futurity–winning both stakes by a combined nine lengths.
Ridden in all three starts by Mario Gutierrez, Nyquist will attempt to follow in the footsteps of last year’s FrontRunner winner, eventual Triple Crown Champ American Pharoah. Off at 7-1 in his debut, Nyquist was bet down to even money in the Best Pal and was hammered to 1-2 favoritism in the Del Mar Futurity. He has earnings of $333,600.
Second to Nyquist in both the Del Mar Futurity and Best Pal Stakes, trainer Keith Desormeaux’s Swipe will try to turn the tables on the top selection in his first try around two turns. Owned by Big Chief Racing, LLC, Swipe should be forwardly placed under Kent Desormeaux as he guns for his second win in six starts. A Kentucky-bred colt by Birdstone, Swipe is 5-1-3-1 with earnings of $188,330.
A rousing 4 ¼ length first-out maiden winner going five furlongs over a sloppy strip Aug. 2, Blameitonthelaw was subsequently third, beaten eight lengths by Nyquist in the Del Mar Futurity. Trained by John Sadler and ridden by Tyler Baze in both starts, the Kentucky-bred colt by Blame will also try two turns for the first time for owner Doubledown Stables, Inc.
A winner of the one mile Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes Sept. 5, Rockingham Ranch’s Hollywood Don will try the main track for the first time in the FrontRunner. Trained by Peter Miller, the Kentucky-bred colt by Tapit has two wins from three starts, all in company with Brice Blanc.
A one mile maiden special weight winner for owner Arnold Zetcher on Aug. 26 at Del Mar, On Fire, who is a Kentucky-bred colt by the A.P. Indy stallion Friesan Fire, pressed the pace en route to a half length win under Gary Stevens, who rides back for trainer Simon Callaghan. On Fire will make his third start in the FrontRunner.
The complete field for the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes, to be run as the fifth race on an 11-race card Saturday with jockeys and weights in post position order: Go Long, Fernando Perez; On Fire, Gary Stevens; Blameitonthelaw, Tyler Baze; Nyquist, Mario Gutierrez; Hollywood Don, Brice Blanc; Rare Candy, Joseph Talamo; Swipe, Kent Desormeaux; Mt Veeder, Martin Garcia. All horses will carry 122 lbs.
Special first post time Saturday is 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.