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CYPRESS, Calif. –A 10-1 upset by Practical Move in the Grade II, $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity and a sixth consecutive win in the Grade I Starlet for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert were among the highlights of the six-day Winter Thoroughbred meet, which concluded Sunday.

         A son of Practical Joke and the Afleet Alex mare Ack Naughty owned by Pierre Jean Amestoy, Leslie Amestoy and Roger Beasley and trained by Tim Yakteen, Practical Move took on a powerful trio from the Baffert stable – headed by prohibitive favorite Arabian Lion – and dominated, winning the Dec. 17 Futurity by 3 ¼ lengths under jockey Ramon Vazquez.

A week earlier in the Starlet, heavily-favored Faiza won for the second time in as many starts, gamely prevailing over 12-1 outsider Pride of the Nile by a head after a stretch long battle. The win continued a streak for Baffert that has seen him win the prestigious race for 2-year-old fillies six of the nine years it has been offered at Los Alamitos.

The two other stakes were for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California. Vazquez and teamed to take the $100,000 Soviet Problem with owner George Krikorian’s homebred Cast Member, who is now 3-for-3 while 3-5 favorite Giver Not a Taker (photo) defeated 47-1 shot Crypto Ride by a head to win the $101,500 King Glorious for owner-breeders Kirk and Judy Robison and trainer Peter Miller.

Milton Pineda topped the trainer standings with five victories, two more than Baffert, Leandro Mora and Peter Miller. It was the first training crown for the 38-year-old Pineda.

Pineda, Baffert and Miller had the most wins (10) for the year at Los Alamitos, combining the Winter meet with the September (Sept. 16-25) and Los Angeles County Fair seasons (June 25-July 9).

Vazquez won the riding title, completing a sweep of the three meets. He finished the Winter with 10 wins, four more than Juan Hernandez and apprentice Armando Aguilar.

A 38-year-old native of Puerto Rico, Vazquez finished 2022 at Los Alamitos with 35 wins, 20 more than runner-up Hernandez. Kyle Frey was third with 13 victories.

Field size for the 2022 Winter meet increased over last year. The average field size was 7.37 starters per race compared to 6.77 in 2021.

Daytime thoroughbred racing will return to Los Alamitos in 2023. The first of three meets is scheduled to begin Friday, June 23 and continue through Sunday, July 9.


82 entries

60 individual players



  1. Dylan Donnelly QQ 1st entry
  2. Dylan Donnelly QQ 2nd entry
  3. Joe Johnson QQ
  4. David Gutfreund 1st entry
  5. David Gutfreund 2nd entry
  6. Kendally Ray
  7. Chris Podratz
  8. Tyler Frausto
  9. Linda Ramirez 1st entry
  10. Jim Petersen 1st entry
  11. Phil Ioriatti
  12. Linda Ramirez 2nd entry
  13. Bill Miller
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  15. Vic Vickers
  16. Danny Chavez
  17. Stephen Gravina
  18. Miguel Encinas
  19. Daniel Monreal
  20. William Wolf





CYPRESS, Calif. – Trainer Tim Yakteen got the best of his former boss – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert – Saturday at Los Alamitos, scoring a 10-1 upset with Practical Move in the Grade II, $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity.

        Baffert, who saddled 60% of the field as he sought his eighth Futurity win in the nine years it has been run at Los Alamitos, had to settle for second, third and fifth with his trio of Carmel Road, Fort Bragg and Arabian Lion, who disappointed in his first try around two turns, trailing as the 2-5 favorite.

      Stretching out again after finishing third in the Grade III Bob Hope Stakes 27 days earlier at Del Mar, Practical Move (photo), in his first collaboration with jockey Ramon Vazquez, tracked the pace set by Carmel Road, moved inside that rival with a bit more than a quarter of a mile to go, then powered away inside the final furlong to win by 3 ¼ lengths.

       A son of Practical Joke and the Afleet Alex mare Ack Naughty owned by Pierre Jean Amestoy, Jr., Leslie Amestoy and Roger Beasley, Practical Move completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.65.

       Purchased for $230,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Spring sale of 2-year-olds in Training earlier this year, Practical Move is now 2-for-4, but this was the initial time he had crossed the finish line first. His maiden victory came via disqualification Oct. 10 at Santa Anita. Fort Bragg, who was third Saturday, was cited for stretch interference that afternoon and was placed second and Practical Move was elevated from the runner-up to first.

       Bred in Kentucky by trainer Chad Brown and Head of Plains Partners, Practical Move increased his earnings to $194,200 and earned 10 points on the Road to the 2023 Kentucky Derby, which will be run May 6 at Churchill Downs.  The second longest shot in the field, he paid $23.20 and $11.80. There was no show wagering.

The upset was the biggest in the Futurity since Into Mischief paid $29.60 in 2007 when the race was run as the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park. The Futurity was run in Inglewood between 1981-2013 before moving to Los Alamitos in 2014.

“He’s been steadily improving race after race,’’ said Yakteen after his second stakes win of the Winter meet. He won the Soviet Problem six days earlier with Cast Member.

“I’m hoping that he’s going to continue to get better as a 3-year-old and that’s the impression he has been giving me.

“I’m surprised because we were going up against the king (Baffert), but I’m not surprised because my horse was doing really well. That it all worked out is just fantastic.

“We had a great trip and I’m just thrilled to death with the horse and his effort today. This one’s really special because Bob is a good friend and we have a great relationship. I hate to take him down, but it ended up that I got the better of him today and usually he gets the better of me.

“We’re just going to give the horse a breather right now, regroup and then go from there.’’

Vazquez, who quadrupled Saturday to all but cement a sweep of the three local riding titles – he also led the Los Angeles County Fair and September meets earlier in the year – thinks the Futurity winner has a bright future.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been on this horse and he really impressed me,’’ said Vazquez, who has a 9-5 lead over Juan Hernandez and apprentice Armando Aguilar in the jockey standings heading into the final day of the Winter meet. “He relaxed perfectly and then I had to make a decision turning for home whether to go inside or outside.

“When (Carmel Road) drifted out a bit there was an opening and he came right through and gave me a very nice finish.’’

Carmel Road, the highest price of the Baffert runners at 9-2, paid $9 to place while finishing 4 ¼ lengths in front of Fort Bragg, the 4-1 second choice. The maiden Tall Boy was fourth at 59-1 and Arabian Lion, a $600,000 buy at the same sale where Practical Move was purchased, wound up 12 lengths behind Practical Move.

Milton Pineda doubled with Busy Paynter in the first and Keep Your Coil in the seventh and clinched at least a tie in the trainer’s race. He has a 5-3 lead in the standings over Baffert and Leandro Mora. Pineda has five scheduled starters Sunday, two more than Mora and three more than Baffert.

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 12:30 p.m.

The last of 10 races is the $100,000-guaranteed King Glorious for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California. Giver Not a Taker is the 2-1 favorite on Ed Burgart’s morning line in the race at one mile.



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