(Trainer Peter Eurton)

Today’s “Horse to Watch” is the 2-year-old colt Draft Pick, who will be making his third lifetime start for trainer Peter Eurton in a Maiden Special Weight Event going 1 mile at Los Alamitos Race Course in Los Angeles.

Draft Pick, who is by the outstanding stallion Candy Ride (standing at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, KY for the family of William and Bill Farish), nearly won on debut at this very racetrack back in September. Going a mile that day, the bay colt laid just off the pace and made a serious run only to be beaten a length by a colt by the name of City Plan — despite having to go 4-wide into the stretch.

For the record, City Plan was no joke — despite going off at odds of 19-1 that day. The Godolphin Racing homebred, by Street Sense and out of the A.P. Indy mare Interior Design, came out of that maiden victory to run against the “Best of the West” in Bold d’Oro in the G1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 30. He didn’t fare too well that day, running a dull seventh in his first try against winners.

But the very next start, City Plan was very well spotted and he closed mightily to win the Gold Rush Stakes, in Northern California at Golden Gate Fields. Going off at odds of 24-to-1, he rallied from far back early on to win by a growing 3/4ths of a length for trainer Eoin Harty.

Yet, let’s return to Draft Pick, shall we?

A month after that inaugural run, on Oct. 29, Draft Pick was back in action across town at Santa Anita. But this time, newly drafted apprentice jockey Evin Roman put the colt on the lead right out of the gate, and, although going 11/16-mile this time, he pushed the pace through early fractions of :24, :484/5 and 1:14. Understandably, at the end of that trip, the colt and jockey were both rushing for air and tiring. Draft Pick ended up running fourth, and beaten 71/4 lengths.

Today, Eurton will pick his third different rider for the colt — Joe Talamo.  And, despite a field of prime pedigrees with promising credentials, Draft Pick just may be in the perfect spot to snap his maiden condition.

But there is more to the story that just the previous couple of races, and the fact that draft Pick is working a hole in the wind these days. After all, he breezed 5-furlongs in a brisk 1:01 on Dec. 1 at Santa Anita, which was the fourth fastest time out of 42 to go that distance that day.

You see, Draft Pick not only has the legs, he has the looks and the pedigree to be cut out for stardom on the racetrack.

Let’s take a look a quick look at the apparent good looks. As a yearling, Draft Pick was consigned to the Keeneland September Yearling Sales by his breeder, Hinkle Farms, near Paris, KY. When the hammer finally dropped on the sale, he had rung up a tally of $450,000 and was purchased by Mayberry Farm.

(Candy Ride stands at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, KY. His stud fee is a well-deserved $80,000. Photo courtesy of Lane’s End Farm)

That wasn’t a bad price for the son of Candy Ride, who just so happens to be the sire of this year’s Champion racehorse, Gun Runner, and is the #1 General Active Sire. In addition to the great Gun Runner, Candy Ride is the sire of Grade 1 winners Ascend and Mastery; the record-setting Twirling Cand and the Champion 2YO Shared Belief. His top 2017 yearlings sold for $800,000 and $600,000.

And, there was ample reason for the lofty price tag on Draft Pick, too.

Draft Pick’s dam is Firehouse Red, who was owned by Hinkle Farms and trained by J. Larry Jones. Over her 12 race career, she tallied two wins, two seconds and three thirds and pushed her earnings over $121,000. In that mix, she finished second in the Allen LaCombe Memorial Stakes at The Fair Grounds; third in the Jersey Lilly Stakes at Sam Houston; ran second in the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs and was fourth in the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland.

In the Edgewood, she was beaten just two lengths by Stephanie’s Kitten. In the Appalachian, she ran behind the highly respected and accomplished Dayatthespa and Somali Lemonade.

In other words, she had game.

If that isn’t impressive enough, the second dam is My Rachel — who was Graded Stakes placed. She ran third in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct on the turf. She lost to British-bred Dalvina and French-bred Barancella that day, but beat the highly favored German-bred Royal Highness.

(Seth Hancock (right) with long-time partner Adele Dilschneider (left) after Champion BLAME’s victory in the 2010 Whitney Handicap. Photo courtesy of Claiborne Farm.)

My Rachel was bred by Seth Hancock’s Cherry Valley Farm, and came from a long list of females by some of the best broodmare sires in the game — such as Forty Niner, Believe It, Hoist the Flag, Bold Ruler, and Hill Prince.

So, if you are around a television tube (do they still have TVs with tubes?) at about 5:30 ET today, tune in and watch Draft Pick at Los Alamitos.  You may be glad that you did.