Longshot Wynstock Survives Inquiry in Los Al Futurity

December 17, 2023

Wynstock. (Benoit Photo)

Los Alamitos Press Release

CYPRESS, Calif.—Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won his eighth Los Alamitos Futurity in 10 years, but it wasn’t with the 2-year-old most were expecting.

Wynstock, the longest-priced entrant of the trio Baffert saddled in the Grade II, $200,000 race, went virtually gate-to-wire at 13-1, then survived a stewards’ inquiry to earn his second consecutive win since he was stretched out.

The win was especially sweet for Baffert because Wynstock, a New York bred son of Solomini and the Flatter mare Timberlea, is owned by Dr. Edward Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos, and F. Jack Liebau, the vice-president of the Los Alamitos Racing Assocation.

After beginning his career by disappointing twice as the favorite in races at 6 ½ furlongs, Wynstock dominated maidens by 7 ½ lengths going a mile Oct. 15 in his first collaboration with jockey Kyle Frey.

The surprising result—the chestnut was also 13-1 that day—enabled Frey to retain the mount in the Futurity and Wynstock responded with a half-length victory over 4-1 second choice Stronghold. The Baffert-trained Coach Prime, the 4-5 favorite, was another half-length back in third.

Stewards Luis Jauregui, David Nuesch and Kim Sawyer conducted an inquiry into some bumping between Wynstock and Stronghold inside the final eighth of a mile but ruled both horses contributed to the incident and there was no change to the order of finish.

Wine Me Up, the third Baffert entrant and 19-10 second choice, and Ace of Clubs completed the order of finish.

Pushing his earnings to $162,740, Wynstock, who was purchased for $700,000 at the OBS Sale in April, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.53. He returned $29.40, $7.80 and $3.80, making him the highest priced winner of the Futurity since the race has been run at Los Alamitos.

Stronghold, racing around two turns for the first time, paid $4.60 and $2.60 while the show price on Coach Prime was $2.10.

“To have this moment is special,’’ said Baffert. “I’m so excited. I’m just so happy (for Dr. Allred). He and I go way back. He bought this horse and trusted me.

“I thought (Wynstock) would be on the lead today because when I sent him long the first time that’s how he won. I couldn’t believe he got beat twice going short before that because he had shown so much in the morning.

“When he went long, we put (Frey) on him and he got him away from there, so I told Kyle I’d leave him on this horse because they get along great together.

“This horse looked outstanding coming into the paddock today. He was on his toes and actually looked like he was going to run in the Champion of Champions. He’s a stout, beautiful horse.

“(Coach Prime) was sort of in and out the whole way. He got a little warm behind the gate and got shuffled back a bit. He’s still green.’’

Wynstock connections in the winners' circle. (Benoit Photo)
Wynstock connections in the winners’ circle. (Benoit Photo)

The Los Alamitos Futurity was Frey’s first graded stakes success in Southern California and his second stakes win at this venue. He had previously won the Dark Mirage Stakes in 2021 with Samurai Charm.

“Relaxing isn’t an issue for this horse,’’ said Frey. “Just getting out of the gate is and he did that perfectly today. He has the heart of a lion. He swelled up when (Stronghold) came up on our inside.’’ (On the inquiry): “(Stronghold) got us first.’’

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time for the final day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet is 11:30 a.m.

The last of 12 races is the $100,000-guaranteed King Glorious for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California. Last Call London is the 5-2 favorite on Ed Burgart’s morning line in the contest at one mile.

Heading into closing day, Frey and Tiago Pereira are tied for the top spot in the jockey standings with five wins apiece. Diego Herrera, Juan Hernandez, Edwin Maldonado and Umberto Rispoli are next with four.

Mark Glatt leads the trainers with five wins, one more than Baffert.

12 Races Slated For Closing Day Of Winter Thoroughbred Meet

Early Post Time (11:30) A.M.) For Sunday, December 17

Post time for Sunday, Dec. 17—the final day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos—will be 11:30 a.m., one hour earlier than the first five programs of the season.

There will be 12 races—with 97 entrants—on the closing day card, topped by the $100,000 King Glorious Stakes. The one-mile race, which will be the 12th on the program, is restricted to 2-year-olds bred or sired in California.

There will be mandatory payouts in all wagers. The $2 Pick Six will cover Races 7-12. The 50-cent Players’ Pick 5 will be Races 1-5 while there will be $1 Pick Fours on Races 2-5, 6-9 and 9-12 and a $1 Super High 5 on Race 12.

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