The Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm's Thousand Words dug deep in the final 100 yards to win Saturday's Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity, fending off the challenge of Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Anneau d'Or near the wire to win by a neck. The 2-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile, ridden by Flavien Prat for trainer Bob Baffert, ran 1 1/16 miles over Los Alamitos main track rated “good” in 1:43.19.
Thousand Words was the 8-5 second choice, while Anneau d'Or was the favorite at 6-5.
“Turning for home I thought I could run 1-2,” said Baffert, also the trainer of third-place finisher High Velocity. “But then I saw (Anneau d'Or) and I thought, `Oh no, he's going to get us.', but (Thousand Words) was game. When that horse came to him he took off and when he came back after the race he wasn't even blowing hard. Distance isn't going to be a problem. That's impressive when they can win like that second time out. (High Velocity) never really relaxed and was a little too keen early. Los Alamitos has the best surface and everybody's happy to work here. To come here and win at my old stomping grounds is a big thing. Good to get a win like this with a colt like this and I thought he was visually impressive today. I told (jockey Flavien) Prat before he ran that I thought I had found a good one for him for the Kentucky Derby next year.''
The victory earns Thousand Words 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
The winner's stablemate High Velocity showed just that at the break of the Futurity, kicking into gear to make the move from his outside post position over to the rail before the clubhouse turn. Thousand Words traveled up into second outside of Anneau d'Or, tracking the early fractions of :22.47 and :45.87 down the backstretch.
Thousand Words ranged up alongside High Velocity in the far turn, and Anneau d'Or went three-wide to challenge the leaders. Those three drew abreast in mid-stretch, with Anneau d'Or grinding away at Thousand Words' leading margin with every stride.
Anneau d'Or headed Thousand Words with 100 yards to go, but Thousand Words battled right back on the inside and surged forward to win by a neck. Anneau d'Or had to settle for second, with High Velocity dropping back to finish third. Wrecking Crew was eased.
“He broke fine and relaxed perfectly,” Prat said of Thousand Words. “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.''
Bred in Florida by Hardacre Farm, Thousand Words is out of the multiple graded stakes-winning Pomeroy mare Pomeroys Pistol. He commanded a final bid of $1 million at the Keeneland September yearling sale, and won his debut by a half-length in October at Santa Anita. Now undefeated in two career starts, Thousand Words has earned $150,000.
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