FAVORED DABSTER HANDLES ADDED DISTANCE IN

LOS ALAMITOS SPECIAL AT 1 1/4 MILES

CYPRESS, Calif. – Less than four weeks after winning the Harry F. Brubaker at Del Mar, Dabster added a second stakes victory to his resume, taking the inaugural $100,690 Los Alamitos Special Sunday.

After tracking the pace set by Little Scotty, who opened a four-length lead through the first half mile, the 4-year-old son of Curlin and the A.P. Indy mare On a Roll gained a slender advantage early in the stretch and eventually prevailed by two lengths over 10-1 shot Divisor and five others.

Now 2-for-2 under jockey Joe Talamo, Dabster (left), the 8-5 favorite in the Special, completed the 1 ¼ miles in 2:00.45, a track record for a distance that had only been run once previously since daytime thoroughbred racing returned to Los Alamitos in July, 2014.

Wings of Mojave had the old mark of 2:03.57 established Sept. 13, 2015.

The victory was a local record 16th daytime thoroughbred stakes for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and the fifth in nine outings for Dabster, who is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum. The $60,000 winner’s share boosted the chestnut’s earnings to $252,425. He paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.60.

Although the Special was the first start for Dabster beyond 1 1/16 miles, assistant trainer Mike Marlow believed the 10 furlongs wouldn’t be a problem for the colt, who was purchased for $1 million as a 2-year-old in March, 2016.

“We thought he would like the distance,’’ said Marlow. “He’s a big, long-striding horse who can gallop all day.

“We thought one or two of them might go, but if nobody wanted the lead we were going to go. It set up well. (Talamo) was smart. He let (Little Scotty) wing, but stayed in contention.’’

Divisor, who is trained by Phil D’Amato who also ran fourth-place finisher and 4-1 third choice Ya Gotta Wanna, finished 1 ½ lengths in front of 2-1 second choice Colonist. The 4-year-old Harlan’s Holiday gelding returned $8.80 and $4.40 while the show price on Colonist was $2.40.

Completing the order of finish were Twentytwentyvision, Engram and Little Scotty.

“He’s a real cool horse, very gutty,’’ said Talamo of Dabster after his fourth Los Alamitos stakes success. “It’s fun to ride one like that. I was trying to give him a breather on the turn and when they came to him in the stretch he did all the work.’’

Racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 2 p.m.

With four days left in the Los Angeles County Fair meet, apprentice jockeys Assael Espinoza and Heriberto Figueroa share the lead in the rider standings. Both have nine wins. Tiago Pereira is third with eight.

Baffert tops the trainers with five victories, two more than Peter Eurton and Steve Knapp.

                                            

KIM K BECOMES STAKES WINNER IN SECOND START, TAKING BARRETTS DEBUTANTE

CYPRESS, Calif. – Making her second start after tiring in her career debut, Kim K became a stakes winner, easily capturing the $100,000 Barretts Debutante Saturday at Los Alamitos.

A $330,000 April purchase by trainer Peter Miller for Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, the 2-year-old Will Take Charge filly battled inside 4-5 favorite Square Peggy and 19-10 second choice Naughty Tiger for the first half mile, then drew clear late to win by three lengths under apprentice jockey Heriberto Figueroa.

Out of the Trippi mare Trip for A.J, Kim K paid $8 and $3.40 – there was no show wagering – while completing the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.28. She’s banked $57,200.

Square Peggy, who had gone gate-to-wire when defeating maidens in her second start Aug. 15, returned $2.40 while finishing 2 ½ lengths in front of Naughty Tiger, who entered having won two in a row, including the CTBA Stakes Aug. 1.

Miller thought Kim K, who was fifth after being part of the pace Sept. 2 when 6-1 under Figueroa in her bow at Del Mar, would benefit from the race.

“She was short first time out,’’ he said. “I was a little reluctant to come back on two weeks rest, but I knew she needed that race, that track is deep and tiring and she was in the middle of a three or four horse speed spread going 6 ½ (furlongs), so I knew she would be fit.

“The kid (Figueroa) rode a great race. I’m very proud of the filly. She kicked home real nice. She’s a beautiful filly and she’s got a really good mind. I think she has a bright future.’’

The stakes victory was the first at Los Alamitos for Figueroa, who enters the final five days of the Los Angeles County Fair meet atop the jockey standings with fellow apprentice Assael Espinoza.

Figueroa, who will turn 19 Dec. 8, and Espinoza both have eight winners, one more than Tiago Pereira. The two apprentices shared the Summer Thoroughbred Festival title earlier in the year with 12 wins apiece.

Espinoza, 18, doubled his meet total Saturday as he won four times, taking the third with Snaked, the fourth with Pray for Corday, the sixth with Buck Duane and the ninth with Super Sol.

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 2 p.m.

The main event on the program is the $100,000 Los Alamitos Special. The inaugural running of the 1 ¼ mile event for 3-year-olds & up is the eighth of nine races. Scheduled post time is 5:28 p.m.

The field of eight – reduced by the scratch of Giant Influence – is topped by Harry F. Brubaker winner Dabster, Ya Gotta Wanna, runner-up in the Grade II Del Mar Handicap last month, and Colonist, who was fourth behind eventual 3-year-old champion West Coast in the Grade III Los Alamitos Derby last year.

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