Klimt surged past favored early leader Straight Fire in the stretch and drew off to a 4 1/4-length victory in the $300,345 Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity Sept. 5 at Del Mar.
The victory by Kaleem Shah's Klimt gives trainer Bob Baffert 13 wins in the seven-furlong test for juveniles. Klimt nailed down a second straight graded stakes win and his first Grade 1 score.
Guided by Rafael Bejarano and sent off at 5-2, Klimt completed the race in 1:21.80 on a fast track with Straight Fire holding second. The victory gives Klimt two straight graded stakes wins and his first grade I score after the son of Quality Road won the 6 1/2-furlong Best Pal Stakes Aug. 13 at Del Mar.
In Monday's test, Jungle Racing, LNJ Foxwoods and KMN Racing's Straight Fire broke well under Kent Desormeaux and led through a quarter-mile in :22.33. After racing in fourth into the turn, Klimt unleashed a big move in the turn to power into second just after Straight Fire posted a half-mile in :44.38.
Klimt took over in midstretch and drew off late to secure his third straight win. Klimt finished fourth in his debut June 25 at Santa Anita Park then won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race there on July 10 by 5 1/4 lengths before his 2 3/4-length victory in the Best Pal.
The past two winners of the Del Mar Futurity, Nyquist and Baffert-trained American Pharoah went on to win the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands in their 3-year-old seasons.
Baffert credited Bejarano with a top ride, noting his early placing.
"What a way to end the meet!," Baffert said.
Baffert went to $435,000 to land Klimt at this year's Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March sale of 2-year-olds in training sale where he was consigned by Eddie Woods, agent. Klimt also sold as a yearling, going for $140,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale where he was purchased by Bradley Thoroughbreds from consignor Gainesway, agent.
Klimt returned $7 to win on a $2 win ticket.