The 43-day Del Mar season will end today with the running of the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity, an unusual stake in that three of the seven 2-year-olds are maidens.
River Special, Nautilus and Goldigger's Dream have never won, although River Special has been second in both of his starts. One of those finishes was a half-length loss here to Seattle Sleet, who will be one of the favorites today. Seattle Sleet's victory over River Special on Aug. 22 came in the Seattle Slew colt's only start.
River Special will run coupled in the wagering with Devil Diamond because both are owned by John and Betty Mabee, who won the Futurity with Best Pal in 1990. Devil Diamond has been ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Del Mar's leading jockey, in his two consecutive victories, the most recent being the seven-furlong Balboa Stakes on Aug. 28. Devil Diamond broke his maiden here on July 29, in his fourth race. Another stakes winner in the field is Sudden Hush, who won the Graduation against California-breds on Sept. 2.