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Sunday at Los Alamitos Thoroughbred

Posted on 7.05.2015 with No comments

Sunday's Picks:

Race 1:  1-5-2

#1 Derringer has some back class and has been getting his speed sharpened in the 870-yard allowances during the night programs. I think he can take them gate to wire

Race 2: 6-4-5

#6 Bella Breeze tried the turf and didn't seem to like it. She adds blinkers, returns to dirt, and takes a drop in class.

Race 3:  5-3-4

#5 Light Striker is a good off the pace threat. I think there is going to be two or three horses going for the lead and she will be closing from the back of the pack.

Race 4:  1-6-2

#1 I Heart You comes off a good second place finish at this level and was claimed by local trainer Charles Treece. She has plenty of experience at this distance and a repeat effort of her last race should get the job done.

Race 5:  3-4-6

#3 Oil just looks too good for this field. He comes off a fast race and looks to be the best speed of the group.

Race 6:  4-8-6

#4 Put It There is another one that has been running during the night programs at the distances of 870 yards and 4 1/2 furlongs. While others in this field lack consistency, this runner has finished in the top three in 11 of his last 12 starts.

Race 7:  1-2-5

#1 Atascaderan can be a threat if he gets away with a clean start. He likes to be on the lead and his second place finish at Santa Anita three starts ago fits well here. Last year he won over this track at this same distance.

Race 8:  6-5-1

#6 Super Majesty won her debut impressively. She might be a stakes winner in the future if she improves in her second start. She looks too good for this field.

Race 9:  2-6-8

#2 Ride the Shark gets the slight nod from me in a field that has plenty of questions. I like that she has been training over this track and now she gets a drop in class and adds blinkers.


The GII $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby

Posted on 7.04.2015 with No comments

Bob Baffert and Martin Garcia teamed up last year to win the Los Alamitos Futurity with Dortmund (pictured above) and today they will be teaming up with Gimme Da Lute in the Los Alamitos Derby. Gimme Da Lute comes off a win in the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes and is the third choice in the morning line at odds of 5-to-2.

Jerry Hollendorfer and Mike Smith won last year's edition of the Los Alamitos Derby with Shared Belief and this time they return with the impressive winner of the Grade 3 Laz Barrera at Santa Anita Park: Kentuckian. Although this will be Kentuckian's first try around two turns, he has been installed as the 6-to-5 morning line favorite based on his big win.

The other main contender in field is the talented Prospect Park who was last seen running second to Gimme Da Lute in the Affirmed. He gained a bit of buzz earlier in the year after a big win in an allowance at Santa Anita and later finishing second in the Grade 2 San Felipe. Tyler Baze will be aboard for the first time today. He is the second choice at odds of 8-to-5.

Follow Me Crew (20-1) was claimed for $50,000 last time out and Pain and Misery (15-1) who is a multiple stakes winner in New Mexico complete the field of the Los Alamitos Derby.

Today's Picks:

Race 1:  6-3-2

#6 Surfside Tiara arrives from a barn that does well with first time starters. Her sire Scat Daddy is a good win-early sire and she has been training locally. Her 5 furlong workout on May 28 from the gate with a fastest time of 58 seconds flat stands out.

Race 2:  6-5-8

#6 Swiss Heart has been running well at the top level during the night programs. She's got enough speed to stay close early on. She also ran well last year over this daytime surface.

Race 3:  8-3-5

#8 Mesa Sky has good breeding and has worked at the distance of the race. Her trainer does well with first time starters and her outside post should give her a clear run.

Race 4:  9-3-4

#9 Claudita showed good early speed at Santa Anita before tiring late. Takes a bit of a drop in class and looks like the main speed of the field.

Race 5:  4-1-2

#4 Eddie's First can be dangerous if he can get away cleanly. He was a nose away from winning a stakes over this track last year. He's got good speed and is capable of going to the lead or stalking the pace.

Race 6:  11-4-12

#11 Scatastic finished a good second in his debut but then finished a dull sixth in this following start. Trainer does well with limited starters and I think this colt still has more to show based on his debut.

Race 7:  8-9-5

#8 Class Divine was against too tough last time on the turf and now returns to the level of her best effort yet. She gets the slight nod from me in a tricky race.

Race 8:  5-4-2   The Grade 2 $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby

#5 Prospect Park ran a good effort in his first start sin April. He has plenty of experience going two turns and he has a couple of good workouts since his last effort. Kentuckian is talented but unproven at this distance and I think Gimme Da Lute is better at sprinting than going a route of ground.

Race 9:  4-3-1

#4 Aguacita has been running against tougher competition and has been given a break since her last start. Her only win to date was at this distance and apprentice Bryan Peña knows her well.


Friday at Los Alamitos

Posted on 7.03.2015 with No comments

Nobody hit the pick-6 on opening day so today's program brings along a carryover of over $25,000. Another 8-race program with good fields will get underway at 2:15pm local time.

Today's giveaway is a print featuring Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah. One per paid admission, to the first 5,000 fans.

Today's Picks:

Race 1: 1-5-6

#1 Mayie has not raced since May of last year but she did show a couple of good efforts to begin her career. She has a steady workout pattern over this track and any improvement over her previous efforts should have her in the mix.

Race 2:  7-8-6

#7 Octofy will be making her debut for a sire that did well at Santa Anita (Square Eddie). Trainer Doug O'Neill comes off a good meet and these connections have been doing well lately.

Race 3:  10-5-8

#10 Yodel Up a Storm has finished first or second in 8 of her 18 lifetime starts and has won 5 of her last 8 starts. The outside post should give her a clear running path tracking the pace setters.

Race 4:  9-3-4

#9 Let the Girl Go makes her debut in a field that doesn't have any big standouts. Trainer Kory Owens knows how to get them ready to fire first time out and this filly has been training over this track.

Race 5:  8-3-6

#8 Real Big Deal ran a decent fourth in his debut on the dirt two starts ago despite a bit of traffic trouble. Then he tried the turf with no real improvement. I like the return to dirt and i think we have not seen the best of him yet.

Race 6:  8-1-10

#8 Passinaflash looks like the one to beat. His effort from two starts ago at this distance should be good enough to win here. He's adding blinkers and taking a drop in class.

Race 7:  3-7-6

#3 Codacious has been given some time off since her disappointing effort back on May 7. She returns to the distance of her flashy maiden win two starts ago when she led every step of the way. Her speed is her main threat against this field.

Race 8:  9-6-5

#9 Shame On Alex ran too good to lose last time out when losing by a head after a strong pace. While this is his first try at this distance, i think he can sit a good trip tracking the pace.

Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Opening Day

Posted on 7.02.2015 with No comments

Opening Day of the 2015 Los Alamitos Summer Thoroughbred Festival features an 8-race card highlighted by the $100,000 Bertrando Stakes which goes as the seventh race on the program. The summer meet runs from July 2 to July 12 and racing will be conducted on a Thursday through Sunday basis with a first post of 2:15 pm pacific time.

The first two days of the meet show a good amount of entries which should lead to some good betting  opportunities.

Looking ahead:

Friday: The first 5,000 fans, with paid admission, will receive a print featuring Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah.

Saturday: The running of the GII Los Alamitos Derby. A Shared Belief (winner of 2014 Los Alamitos Derby) T-shirt giveaway with paid admission while supplies last.

Today's Picks:

Race 1:  4-5-3

#4 Twelve Folds has been running against much tougher. I will give her a pass for her last two efforts. Her effort from earlier in the year fit well against these and she does have previous racing experience over this track.

Race 2:  8-4-9

#8 Big Hat Charlie is taking another drop in class and is making his first start as a gelding. He's got enough speed to stay close to the leaders early on.

Race 3:  3-9-8

#3 Esmeralda Belle has shown some talent but has not been able to get the maiden win in three starts. She lands a field which lacks early speed and I think she can take them gate to wire.

Race 4:  5-7-9

#5 Cowtownmary ran a good second in her first start in over a year. He showed good speed and was over four lengths clear of the third place finisher. A repeat effort makes him the one to beat.

Race 5:  2-1-6

#2 Rainsford was claimed at a higher price tag, he's running as a first time gelding, is lightly raced compared to most of this field, is facing the lowest class level of his career, and returns to the distance of his only win to date.

Race 6:  3-10-7

#3 Jacksons a Bobcat has success at this distance and has performed well against speedy quarter horses in mixed races at 870 yards during the night programs. He has a good chance to run them down if he can stay close enough to the leaders early on in the race.

Race 7:  1-9-6  The $100,000 Bertrando Stakes

#1 Spirit Rules finished a good second in this race last year when setting the pace before getting passed in the stretch. I like that he once again drew the inside post. A good break from the rail should allow him to once again try to take them all the way.

Race 8:  7-2-9

#7 Lily Pod has a good set of workouts including a sharp 6-furlong work on June 19. Her trainer is having a great 2015 and she has top rider Rafael Bejarano taking the call.


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