Los Alamitos Thoroughbred: The Contender Stakes

Sunday wraps up the first week of the 10-day fall Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos with a 9-race program featuring the running of The Contender Stakes. The slight 7/5 morning line favorite is Mr Veeder from the Bob Baffert barn. He was actually my pick in the Del Mar Futurity before getting scratched the day of the race. Mt Veeder won his debut and looked to be doing everything on his own early on. Jockey Martin Garcia had to work late down the stretch, but it was a very good performance. I think he's got a bright future ahead.

Today's Picks:

Race 1:  4-7-6

#4 Sweet Silver is back with conditional claimers after facing a tougher field last time out. She has enough speed to stay close early on and should be in good position turning for home.

Race 2:  7-4-6

#7 Can Can Babe dueled for the lead from the inside post at Del Mar in a tougher spot and now she's switching to the outside post for her second start under this trainer. Her early speed should have her in a good spot.

Race 3:  1-5-7

#1 Madam Aamoura is by far the most experience of the group with 12 starts in her resume in search of the maiden score. She's faced some competitive fields and looks to be in a great spot to finally get her first win.

Race 4:  2-3-6

#2 Blackford returns to the dirt after a couple of tries on the turf without much success. He can be forwardly place or sit back and close late.

Race 5:  3-7-2

#3 Masters Circle has enough speed to try to steal it. The question will be if he can get a breather early on without going all out and running out of gas down the lane.

Race 6:  6-4-2

#6 Just Bookin has been competitive against similar fields before. She tried a higher level last time out without much impact. She goes back down in class and has shown that she likes this surface.

Race 7:  4-2-8

#4 Hennythelovepenny found her stride too late last time when second at Del Mar while finishing over six lengths clear of the third place finisher. She has a couple of works since that last race and I think she is ready to fire a big effort.

Race 8:  5-6-4

#5 Mt Veeder won his debut and looked to be doing everything on his own early on in the race. I think is plenty left in the tank for this guy.

Race 9:  2-12-6

#2 Garrapata Beach makes his first start since January when he finished fourth of eight in his debut at Santa Anita. He's been gelded since then and has a good set of local workouts in preparation for his return. I think we are going to see a much improved horse today and the addition of blinkers should also help out.
I watch horses run around.

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