Kentucky-breds Grace Adler and Pinehurst swept the final Grade 1 races of the Del Mar meet with Grace Adler crushing her rivals in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) on Sept. 5 and Pinehurst emerging victorious in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) on the seaside oval’s closing day on Sept. 6.
Grace Adler, owned by Willow Grace Farm and Michael Lund Petersen, made short work of seven rivals in the seven-furlong Debutante. Ridden by Flavien Prat, Grace Adler rated off the pace early. She ranged up five-wide around the far turn and distanced herself from the field in the stretch. She opened up four lengths in the lane and ultimately crossed the wire 11 ¼ lengths clear of runner-up Dance to the Music.
Winning in hand, Grace Adler covered the distance in 1:23.76 for trainer Bob Baffert and the chestnut filly remains undefeated in her first two outings. She won a maiden special weight on July 31 at Del Mar in her career bow.
“No special instructions for me,” said Prat. “Bob just told me that she wasn’t as fast as the other fillies, but that she’d come running. He was certainly right. It might have looked like I moved too early with her, but it was more a case of them coming back to me. We were going forward, and they were coming back.”
Bred in Kentucky by Blue Heaven Farm, Grace Adler is by Curlin out of the Newfoundland mare Our Khrysty. She was a $700,000 purchase at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase.
The following day, Pinehurst shot to the front early in the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity and never looked back. With Mike Smith aboard, Pinehurst notched a 4 ½-length tally in the 74th edition of the Futurity for SF Racing, Starlight Racing, and partners.
Smith nursed Pinehurst through quick fractions of :22.09, :44.77, and 1:10.17 before stopping the clock in 1:23.55. The bay colt by Twirling Candy-Giant Win, by Giant’s Causeway now boasts earnings of $222,000. He was a $385,000 yearling at the Keeneland September Sale and was bred in the Bluegrass by Fred Hertrich III and John D. Fielding.
“When he ran last time, he stumbled pretty badly coming out of there,” said Mike Smith, “but he still made the lead. So, I knew he was plenty quick. I figured I was sitting on a good horse. When you ride for Bob, you ride with confidence. He puts so much foundation under them and they all come running.”