Slow Down Andy knocks off Messier in the Los Al Futurity

A suggestion produced by owner J. Paul Reddam paid significant dividends Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Fairly than operate in the $100,000 King Wonderful Stakes Sunday, an ungraded occasion limited to 2-calendar year-olds bred or sired in California, Reddam wanted to attempt the Quality 2, $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity with his homebred Slow Down Andy.

Building his to start with begin versus open up company and initial further than 7 furlongs, the son of 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist was up to the challenge, upsetting heavily-favored Messier under jockey Mario Gutierrez.

Reserved off the pace established by longshot Olympic Legend and stablemate Durante, Gradual Down Andy, who is trained by Doug O’Neill, took about the direct early in the stretch, surrendered it to Messier, the 1-2 option, when he lugged in, but regained his momentum and went on to get by one particular length. He done the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.33.

Out of the Sq. Eddie mare Edwina E, Sluggish Down Andy ended Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s stranglehold on the Futurity. Baffert experienced won all 7 of renewals at Los Alamitos given that daytime thoroughbred racing returned in 2014.

The 5-1 third preference in the industry of five, Gradual Down Andy returned $12.40 and $3.40. There was no exhibit wagering. Messier, who had received his two prior races by a blended 10 lengths, compensated $2.10 whilst finishing 9 lengths obvious of stablemate Barossa. Durante and Olympic Legend finished the purchase of end.

The victory was well worth $180,000 and elevated Slow Down Andy’s earnings to $249,850. He graduated to start with time out at 5 ½ furlongs Oct. 9 at Santa Anita before ending second as the favorite in the Golden Point out Juvenile last month at Del Mar.

“He’s confirmed us from the starting he’s a pleasant horse,’’ mentioned Reddam. “I suggested we operate in below. I consider most people considered I was nuts, but they didn’t have the nerve to say so.’’

O’Neill, who skipped successful the 2020 Futurity by a nose with 33-1 shot The Good One, admitted he would have picked out the King Superb for Slow Down Andy’s third job start alternatively than the Futurity.

“One hundred percent that is what I would have completed,’’ he stated. “This was strictly Paul wanting to consider a likelihood and having faith in Gradual Down Andy and thank God he did.

“We figured (Durante, who concluded fourth) would exhibit velocity and remaining in publish 5 with Sluggish Down Andy we hoped (Gutierrez) would get great placement and trip his race.

“Down the stretch it seemed like we had it, then we didn’t and then we did, so it was really thrilling.

“He doesn’t truly remind me of Nyquist. This horse has a good deal of unique gears and Nyquist was just a beast, so precocious. This horse is rather quiet and far more mentally versatile at this phase than Nyquist ever was.’’

Even though Baffert failed to earn the Futurity for the 1st time considering that fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer took the last running at Hollywood Park with Shared Perception in 2013, he did get 3 races Saturday at Los Alamitos. He took the fifth with Underneath the Stars, the seventh with Important Wager and the eighth with to start with time starter Doppelganger.

Moving into the last working day of the Winter season satisfy, Baffert tops the standings with five wins. Kyle Frey potential customers the riders with six, one particular more than Flavien Prat, who was aboard all of Baffert’s winners Saturday, Abel Cedillo, Diego Herrera, Tyler Baze and Ricardo Ramirez.

Racing resumes Sunday. Write-up time for the 11-race system is 12 p.m. PST.

The key occasion is the day’s last race. The 2-1 morning line favored in the King Superb is Straight Up G, an amazing maiden winner Nov. 21 for proprietor-breeder Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing LLC and trainer Richard Baltas.