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Klimt to Stretch Out in FrontRunner


After extending his win streak to three straight races and securing his first grade I score in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I), Klimt will try two turns for the first time in the $300,000 FrontRunner Stakes (gr. IT) Oct. 1 at Santa Anita Park.

Six juveniles will try the FrontRunner, which boasts quite a recent history, as last year’s winner Nyquist and 2014 victor American Pharoah   both went on to win the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The FrontRunner is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge event, carrying “Win and You’re In” status to the Juvenile (gr. I).

After finishing fourth in his debut, Klimt has dazzled while stretching out a bit in each of his races. After a maiden score July 10 going 5 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita, the son of Quality Road   then won the 6 1/2-furlong Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) Aug. 13 at Del Mar before rallying from fourth for a 4 1/4-length score in the Del Mar Futurity going seven furlongs Sept. 5.

Kaleem Shah’s Klimt has delivered three fast works since that grade I win, as trainer Bob Baffert goes for his eighth FrontRunner victory overall and fourth since 2009 (American Pharoah; Power Broker  , 2012; and Lookin At Lucky  , 2009). Regular rider Rafael Bejarano has the mount Saturday.

Trainer Keith Desormeaux has entered a pair of colts by freshman sires in Del Mar Futurity runner-up Straight Fire, by Dominus  , and maidenVibe, by Astrology  .

After placing in his first stakes effort when third in the Del Mar Futurity, Ruis Racing and Wendy Ruis’s Midnight Pleasure will take another crack at Klimt for trainer Shelbe Ruis. The son of Midnight Lute   won his July 24 maiden debut by more than two lengths at Del Mar.

Spendthrift Farm’s Plum Dandy brings two-turn experience into the race after scoring a clear, front-running victory in his second maiden race try Aug. 25 at Del Mar. Bejarano guided the son of Medaglia d’Oro that day and since he’ll be aboard Klimt in the FrontRunner, Mike Smith will pick up riding duties Saturday.

Trainer John Shirreffs will saddle Jerry and Ann Moss’s Gormley, a son ofMalibu Moon   who scored by 4 1/4 lengths in his maiden debut going 6 1/2 furlongs Sept. 4 at Del Mar.

FrontRunner S. (gr. I)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, October 01, 2016, Race 6
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $300,000
  • 2 yo
  • 3:00 PM (local)
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Gormley (KY) Victor Espinoza 122 John A. Shirreffs
2 Plum Dandy (KY) Mike E. Smith 122 Simon Callaghan
3 Secret House (KY) Santiago Gonzalez 122 Doug F. O’Neill
4 Midnight Pleasure (KY) Martin Garcia 122 Shelbe Ruis
5 Straight Fire (KY) Flavien Prat 122 J. Keith Desormeaux
6 Klimt (KY) Rafael Bejarano 122 Bob Baffert
7 Vibe (KY) Kent J. Desormeaux 122 J. Keith Desormeaux

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