Seven juveniles will race a mile in the $300,000 Frontrunner Stakes (GI), the last main local prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) and a “Win and You’re In” event. Most recently, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and this year’s Kentucky Derby (GI) hero Nyquist captured the Frontrunner and joined a long list of winners that boasts names like Free House, Capote, Snow Chief, Chief’s Crown and Flying Paster.
This year Klimt, off his two wins in the Best Pal Stakes (GII) and Del Mar Futurity (GI) is the one to beat. The son of Quality Road hasn’t missed a beat since his first out and rides a three-race win skein into this event. Trainer Bob Baffert looks for his eighth win in the race and, with Klimt, it sure looks like he will get it. He will also get the pace he wants to run into, so he’s a good bet to win even though he won’t offer much value.
Straight Fire looked to be the division’s rising star after a 10-length romp at Del Mar to break his maiden, but he regressed a bit to finish second to Klimt as the favorite last out in the Del Mar Futurity. The Jungle Racing, Foxwoods and KMN Racing-owned colt hasn’t missed a beat training in the mornings and certainly has the talent to make a statement here from his preferred spot on the lead.
Gormley makes his stakes debut from the rail off a nice 4 ¼-length maiden win at Del Mar a month ago and carries some impressive connections in owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs. Always conservative and cautious, this colt has to be 100 percent to even be considered.
Post time for the 1 1/16-mile Frontrunner has been set for 3:04 p.m. PT.