LAST CALL LONDON ($6) GETS UP LATE TO WIN KING GLORIOUS ON CLOSING DAY
CYPRESS, Calif. – After a stretch long duel with pacesetter Stolen Treasure, Last Call London got up in the final strides to win the $101,000 King Glorious Stakes Sunday, the final day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos.
The neck victory by the gelded son of Stay Thirsty and the Empire Way mare Zo Lo’s Lov gave trainer Peter Miller a sweep of the two stakes for California bred or sired 2-year-olds. He won the $100,000 Soviet Problem a week earlier with the filly Madison Rae, who led throughout to post a 9-1 upset.
Owned by Tom London, Eugene Zondlo and breeder Terry Lovingier, Last Call London, who was second for most of the journey, prevailed by a neck as the 2-1 second choice. Racing without blinkers for the first time, he completed one mile in 1:38.15 and returned $6, $3.60 and $2.40. He’s now won twice in eight starts and earned $156,870.
Stolen Treasure, the only member of the field of seven with a win at the distance, wound up five lengths clear of third place finisher and 19-10 favorite Mici’s Express as the 7-2 third choice. Stolen Treasure, whose win came on turf Dec. 1 at Del Mar, paid $4.40 and $2.60 while the show price on Mici’s Express was $2.20.
“I kind of left things up to (Hernandez),’’ said Miller, who also won the 2022 King Glorious with Giver Not a Taker. “I thought for him to help the horse away from there and get a position. I really liked where we were sitting when I saw the fractions.
“I felt we were in the right spot if we were good enough. I felt this horse would run long. He’s a big, leggy horse and always acted like a route horse, so I’m glad he got an opportunity today.’’
The stakes win was the third of the meet for Hernandez, adding to his daytime meet record total. He now has 17 local successes.
“(Miller) and I both thought this horse wanted to run long,’’ said Hernandez. “He relaxed nicely and was very strong in the stretch. (Stolen Treasure) gave him a good battle, but my horse really dug in.’’
WINS BY WYNSTOCK IN FUTURITY & NOTHING LIKE YOU IN STARLET TOP WINTER MEET
CYPRESS, Calif. –A 13-1 upset by Wynstock in the Grade II, $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity completed a graded stakes sweep for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert during the six-day Winter Thoroughbred Meet, which concluded Sunday.
A son of Solomini and the Flatter mare Timberlea owned by Dr. Edward Allred, owner of Los Alamitos, and F. Jack Liebau, vice-president of the Los Alamitos Racing Association, Wynstock, who was ridden by Kyle Frey, led virtually throughout in the Dec. 16 Futurity, ultimately prevailing by a half-length over Stronghold.
The win was the 8th in 10 years for Baffert in the Los Alamitos Futurity and his 14th overall. He won it six times when it was called the Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park, which closed in 2013.
A week earlier in the $200,500 Starlet, Nothing Like You won her third in a row, easily dispatching of her five opponents to win by 5 ¼ lengths. Juan Hernandez was aboard the daughter of Maliu Moon for owners Georgia Antley Hunt, Jeff Giglio and John Rogitz. The win was the seventh in a row for Baffert in the Starlet.
Baffert and Hernandez also teamed to capture the $101,000 Bayakoa Stakes Dec. 15 with even-money favorite Midnight Memories, who outfinished 7-5 second choice Desert Dawn to win the Grade III for fillies and mares by one length. The victory came nine years after Tiz Midnight, the dam of Midnight Memories, won the inaugural running of the Bayakoa at Los Alamitos.
The two other stakes were for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California and both were won by trainer Peter Miller.
Jockey Edwin Maldonado guided 9-1 shot Madison Rae to a gate-to-wire win for owners CYBT, Rafter JR Ranch LLC, STD Racing Stable and Michael Nentwig, in the $100,000 Soviet Problem for fillies Dec. 10 while 2-1 second choice Last Call London won the $101,000 King Glorious on closing day for Tom London, Eugene Zondlo and breeder Terry Lovingier.
Mark Glatt topped the trainer standings with seven victories, three more than Baffert and Miller. It was the second local training crown for Glatt, who shared the 2016 Spring meet title with Doug O’Neill.
Baffert had the most wins (15) for the year at Los Alamitos, combining the Winter meet with the September (Sept. 15-24) and Los Angeles County Fair (June 23-July 9) seasons.
Diego Herrera, Edwin Maldonado and Hernande shared the Winter riding title with six wins each.
Hernandez was the leader for the year with 19 victories, one more than Herrera.
Daytime thoroughbred racing will return to Los Alamitos in 2024. The Los Angeles County Fair meet – the first of three during the year - is scheduled to begin Friday, June 21 and continue through Sunday, July 7.
WYNSTOCK POSTS 13-1 UPSET TO GIVE BAFFERT 8TH LOS ALAMITOS FUTURITY WIN
CYPRESS, Calif. – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won his eighth Los Alamitos Futurity in 10 years, but it wasn’t with the 2-year-old most were expecting.
Wynstock, the longest-priced entrant of the trio Baffert saddled in the Grade II, $200,000 race, went virtually gate-to-wire at 13-1, then survived a stewards’ inquiry to earn his second consecutive win since he was stretched out.
The win was especially sweet for Baffert because Wynstock, a New York bred son of Solomini and the Flatter mare Timberlea, is owned by Dr. Edward Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos, and F. Jack Liebau, the vice-president of the Los Alamitos Racing Assocation.
After beginning his career by disappointing twice as the favorite in races at 6 ½ furlongs, Wynstock dominated maidens by 7 ½ lengths going a mile Oct. 15 in his first collaboration with jockey Kyle Frey.
The surprising result – the chestnut was also 13-1 that day - enabled Frey to retain the mount in the Futurity and Wynstock responded with a half-length victory over 4-1 second choice Stronghold. The Baffert-trained Coach Prime, the 4-5 favorite, was another half length back in third.
Stewards Luis Jauregui, David Nuesch and Kim Sawyer conducted an inquiry into some bumping between Wynstock and Stronghold inside the final eighth of a mile, but ruled both horses contributed to the incident and there was no change to the order of finish.
Wine Me Up, the third Baffert entrant and 19-10 second choice, and Ace of Clubs completed the order of finish.
Pushing his earnings to $162,740, Wynstock, who was purchased for $700,000 at the OBS Sale in April, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.53. He returned $29.40, $7.80 and $3.80, making him the highest priced winner of the Futurity since the race has been run at Los Alamitos.
Stronghold, racing around two turns for the first time, paid $4.60 and $2.60 while the show price on Coach Prime was $2.10.
“To have this moment is special,’’ said Baffert. “I’m so excited. I’m just so happy (for Dr. Allred). He and I go way back. He bought this horse and trusted me.
“I thought (Wynstock) would be on the lead today because when I sent him long the first time that’s how he won. I couldn’t believe he got beat twice going short before that because he had shown so much in the morning.
“When he went long we put (Frey) on him and he got him away from there so I told Kyle I’d leave him on this horse because they get along great together.
“This horse looked outstanding coming into the paddock today. He was on his toes and actually looked like he was going to run in the Champion of Champions. He’s a stout, beautiful horse.
“(Coach Prime) was sort of in and out the whole way. He got a little warm behind the gate and got shuffled back a bit. He’s still green.’’
The Los Alamitos Futurity was Frey’s first graded stakes success in Southern California and his second stakes win at this venue. He had previously won the Dark Mirage Stakes in 2021 with Samurai Charm.
“Relaxing isn’t an issue for this horse,’’ said Frey. “Just getting out of the gate is and he did that perfectly today. He has the heart of a lion. He swelled up when (Stronghold) came up on our inside.’’ (On the inquiry): “(Stronghold) got us first.’’
Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time for the final day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet is 11:30 a.m.
The last of 12 races is the $100,000-guaranteed King Glorious for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California. Last Call London is the 5-2 favorite on Ed Burgart’s morning line in the contest at one mile.
Heading into closing day, Frey and Tiago Pereira are tied for the top spot in the jockey standings with five wins apiece. Diego Herrera, Juan Hernandez, Edwin Maldonado and Umberto Rispoli are next with four.
Mark Glatt leads the trainers with five wins, one more than Baffert.
FAVORED MIDNIGHT MEMORIES PREVAILS IN GRADE III BAYAKOA STAKES
CYPRESS, Calif. – Daughter emulated mother in the $101,000 Bayakoa Stakes Friday.
Nine years after Tiz Midnight won the inaugural running of the race at Los Alamitos, Midnight Memories did the same, scoring as the even-money favorite in the Grade III for fillies and mares.
Racing for the same owner-trainer combination as Tiz Midnight, the 4-year-old Master filly was ready after a layoff of more than nine months, running down 7-5 second choice Desert Dawn in the final sixteenth of a mile to win by one length.
Owned by breeders Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Midnight Memories earned her fifth win in eight tries and pushed her earnings to $424,680. Three of her victories have come in graded events and she’s only been worse than third once.
Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Midnight Memories completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.80 and she paid $4, $2.60 and $2.20.
The win was the second in a row for Baffert in the Bayakoa as he took the previous renewal in 2021 with As Time Goes By.
Desert Dawn, who was seeking her first win since the 2022 Santa Anita Oaks, got the jump on the eventual winner around the turn, opening a clear advantage into the lane, but ultimately had to settle for second for the fifth time in her career while nearly six lengths clear of stablemate Turnerloose.
Desert Dawn returned $2.20 and $2.10 while the show price on Turnerloose, the fourth choice in the field of seven at nearly 8-1, was $3.80. Ganadora, Smoothlikebuttah, Trouville and Violent Runner completed the order of finish.
Mike Marlow, Baffert’s assistant trainer, thought Midnight Memories, who hadn’t raced since finishing third in the Grade I Beholder Mile March 11, was in trouble when Desert Dawn moved away from her.
“She had trained well for this, but, in all honesty, I thought she was done on the turn,’’ said Marlow. “(Hernandez) started riding her pretty hard and at the three-eighths pole I thought to myself she’s not going anywhere.
“Then Juan got her outside and she came back. He just said she didn’t want to run into the kickback. He did a great job riding her. She showed a new dimension today coming from off the pace.’’
The stakes win was the second in less than a week for Hernandez, who captured the Grade II Starlet last weekend for Baffert aboard Nothing Like You.
“She broke sharp, but I let her settle off the two leaders (stablemate Ganadora and Violent Runner),’’ said Hernandez, the all-time daytime thoroughbred meet leader with 16 stakes wins. “She doesn’t like dirt in the face, so I tried to avoid that as much as I could down the backside.
“(Desert Dawn) got the jump on us turning for home, but once I swung this filly out in the stretch she really took off.’’
Jockeys Jose Valdiva, Jr. and Armando Aguilar both doubled Friday. The former swept the early double with favored Class Clown in the first and Creative Way in the second while the latter scored with first time starter Toledo Rocket in the fifth and Dancing Soul in the seventh.
Racing resumes Saturday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
The last of nine races is the Grade II, $200-guaranteed Los Alamitos Futurity for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
Baffert entered a trio – Coach Prime, Wynstock and Wine Me Up – as he seeks to win the Futurity for the eighth time in 10 years at Los Alamitos. Scheduled post time for the Futurity is 4:28 p.m.
MADISON RAE GOES ALL THE WAY TO POST 9-1 UPSET IN SOVIET PROBLEM STAKES
CYPRESS, Calif. – The fourth choice in a field of five, Madison Rae completed a three win Sunday at Los Alamitos for trainer Peter Miller, leading throughout to capture the $100,000 Soviet Problem Stakes.
Rebounding from a sixth place finish in her stakes debut in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Nov. 3 at Santa Anita, the daughter of Pavel was able to get away with moderate fractions under jockey Edwin Maldonado to post the 9-1 upset by a half-length in the race restricted to 2-year-old fillies bred or sired in California.
Owned by a partnership that includes CYBT, Rafter JR Ranch LLC, STD Racing Stable and Michael Nentwig, Madison Rae, who is out of the Scat Daddy mare Taffeta, completed the mile in 1:38.52. The gray, who was purchased at the OBS April sale for $30,000, set 24.38, 48.50 and 1:13.23 fractions on her way to her second win four attempts.
She paid $20.20, $4.60 and $3 and the $60,000 payday increased her bankroll to $109,940.
“(Maldonado) on the lead is very, very hard to run down,’’ said Miller, who also teamed with the rider to score earlier in the afternoon with first time starter Dial a Friend. “When I saw the splits I felt pretty good.
“She was very game and tenacious. I thought the favorite (runner-up Loretta Lynn) looked tough and I thought it wasn’t an easy race, but I thought if this filly could get clear and make an easy lead she might get brave. Sometimes everything works out.’’
In addition to the wins by Madison Rae and Dial a Friend, Miller also was victorious with favored Tapatio Leo in the fifth. It was the second triple for Miller at Los Alamitos. He also won three Sept. 19, 2021.
The 7-10 favorite on the strength of a debut win Oct. 29, Loretta Lynn raced greenly in her first try around two turns and wound up a half-length in front of 3-1 second choice Asada Fries.
Loretta Lynn paid $2.80 and $2.10 while the show price on Asada Fries was $2.40.
Jockey Ricardo Ramirez, the rider of fourth-place finisher and 7-2 third choice Petit Filet, lodged an objection against Joel Rosario, the jockey of Asada Fries, but the stewards ruled both horses contributed to the bumping incident early in the stretch and no change was made to the order of finish.
Racing resumes Friday at Los Alamitos. Post time for is 12:30 p.m.
The main event on the fourth day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet is the Grade III, $100,000-guaranteed Bayakoa Stakes. Entries for the race, which is for fillies and mares – 3-year-olds & up – at 1 1/16 miles, will be taken Tuesday, Dec. 12.
NOTHING LIKE YOU CRUISES TO EASY VICTORY IN STARLET STAKES;
SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE WIN IN GRADE II FOR BAFFERT & 10TH OVERALL
CYPRESS, Calif. –Trainer Bob Baffert made it seven consecutive victories in the Grade II, $200,500 Starlet as 2-1 third choice Nothing Like You controlled throughout Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Stretched back to two turns a month after she had rallied to win by a nose going seven furlongs in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar, the 2-year-old Malibu Moon filly established the lead from the inside immediately under jockey Juan Hernandez and was never seriously challenged on her way to a 5 ¼ length victory.
Owned by a partnership that includes Georgia Antley Hunt, Jeff Giglio and John Rogitz, Nothing Like You has now won three times in a row after finishing second, eighth and fourth in the first three starts of her career.
Out of the Brother Derek mare Miss Derek, Nothing Like You completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.78 and the $120,000 payday pushed her bankroll to $237,160. She paid $6.20, $3.60 and $2.40.
Although the outcome was no surprise, Baffert didn’t foresee the Starlet would play out the way it did.
“I thought my other filly (Grazia, the 9-5 second choice who finished last in the field of six) would be on the lead,’’ he said. “(Nothing Like You) was pretty fresh today because I’d backed off on her a bit because I’d just run her at Del Mar.
“(Hernandez) said she popped out of there and he said nobody wanted the lead so he just took it. Once I saw her on the backside with that long stride you could tell she was in control of the race.
“It took this filly a while to come around. She wasn’t real quick. We knew once we stretched her out that would be her game. The longer the better for her.’’
Overall, the win added to Baffert’s record total in the Starlet. He now has 10, including the trio he won at Hollywood Park when the race was run as the Hollywood Starlet. His victories in Inglewood came with Excellent Meeting (1998), Habibti (2001) and Streaming (2013).
The Starlet win was the second in three years for Hernandez, who also scored with Eda in 2021.
“She’s improving with every race and distance is what she has always wanted,’’ said Hernandez after his record 15th daytime thoroughbred stakes win at Los Alamitos. “She relaxed perfectly. I let her go at the head of the stretch and she took off.’’
Great Forty Eight, who was second under the wire as the longest shot in the field at 29-1, was disqualified and placed fourth for shifting out under left handed encouragement from apprentice jockey J.G. Torrealba and impeding Chatalas, the 9-5 favorite, with about an eighth of a mile to go.
As a result of the incident, the maiden Flynn’s Chance, a 17-1 shot, was elevated to second and Chatalas was moved up to third. Flynn’s Chance returned $9.60 and $5.40 while the show price on Chatalas was $2.80.
Baffert and Hernandez also teamed to win the second race with heavily-favored Elwood Blues. Jockeys Kyle Frey and Umberto Rispoli also won twice Saturday.
Although he had to settle for third money with Chatalas, trainer Mark Glatt tripled, scoring with Tiff With Jimmy in the third, Issa Court in the sixth and Top Gun Tommy in the eighth.
Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
The feature event on the nine-race card is the $100,000 Soviet Problem. Scheduled for one mile, the Soviet Problem is for 2-year-old fillies or bred or sired in California. Loretta Lynn, a first out winner for trainer Phil D’Amato and owner-breeder Nick Alexander, is the 8-5 favorite on Ed Burgart’s morning line.
The Soviet Problem will go as the final race and has a scheduled post time of 4:28 p.m.
LOS ALAMITOS WILL OFFER $10,000 PICK SIX PROMO BOTH SATURDAYS OF WINTER MEET
CYPRESS, Calif. – The $10,000 Pick Six promotion, which has proven popular at night at Los Alamitos, will now be offered on both Saturdays of the upcoming Winter Thoroughbred meet. The track announced Friday that it will add $10,000 to the Pick Six pool – provided there is no carryover - Saturday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 16. The promotion has been offered on Sunday evenings since the start of the 2020-2021 quarter horse season.
The traditional $2 Pick Six features a 70-30 split with 70% of the pool going to those tickets with six winners with the remaining 30% going to tickets with five of six winners.
The 10th Winter Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos will begin Friday, Dec. 8. The six-day season will feature five stakes, three of which are graded, including the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Starlet for 2-year-old fillies Dec. 9 and the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Futurity for 2-year-olds Dec. 16.
Post time will be 12:30 p.m. and entries for the opening day program will be taken Tuesday, Dec. 5.
LOS ALAMITOS WINTER THOROUGHBRED MEET BROADCAST
TO INCLUDE NEW GRAPHIC SHOWING PROJECTED CLOSING ODDS
The Los Alamitos Winter Thoroughbred Meet, which opens its six-day season this Friday afternoon, will feature a new informational graphic on the track’s simulcast broadcast showing projected closing odds for win wagers on selected races based on a mathematical calculation using Will Pays for that given race.
The graphic will be branded at Los Alamitos as the “In Play” Projected Closing Odds, and will be based on Will Pays, particularly Pick 3s and Pick 4s, which are thought to be reliable indicators of a horse’s actual closing odds. During its Winter Thoroughbred Meet, the track will be showing these “In Play” projected closing odds starting with the third race on Friday’s opening day card. The “In Play” graphic will be available shortly after the previous race has been run.
“We’ll be offering these projected odds on our simulcast feed with an easy-to-read graphic,” said Orlando Gutierrez, the marketing director at Los Alamitos Race Course. “We feel that giving horse players more information is a plus and from there each bettor, individually, can determine whether this information is helpful to their handicapping and wagering practices."
The Los Alamitos Winter Thoroughbred Meet will open on Friday, December 8 and continue through Sunday, December 17. Racing will be held on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the two weeks of racing. The first post each day will be at 12:30 p.m. For more information, please visit LosAlamitos.com.
FIVE STAKES WILL BE OFFERED DURING SIX-DAY SEASON
CYPRESS, Calif. – Five stakes worth a combined $700,000 highlight the 2023 Winter Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos.
The six-day season will begin Friday, Dec. 8 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 17. Racing will be conducted Friday-Sunday both weeks (Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 15-17). Post time will be 12:30 p.m. The first of the stakes races is the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Starlet for 2-year-old fillies. The race at 1 1/16 miles will be run Saturday, Dec. 9.
One week later – Saturday, Dec. 16 - the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Futurity will be offered. The race – which will also be run at 1 1/16 miles – is for 2-year-olds. The schedule also includes a pair of races at one mile for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California. The $100,000-guaranteed Soviet Problem – for fillies – will be run Sunday, Dec. 10 while the King Glorious – for colts and geldings – will be contested Sunday, Dec. 17. The other stakes is the Grade III, $100,000 Bayakoa for fillies and mares – 3-year-olds & up – at 1 1/16 miles. The Bayakoa will be contested Friday, Dec. 15.
Grandstand admission is $3 and $2 for seniors 62 and older. Admission to Burgart’s is $10 and Vessels Club is $10. Tickets can also be purchased online at LosAlamitos.com. Los Alamitos offers free general parking. Preferred parking is $5. The wagering menu includes a pair of $1 Pick 4’s on races 2-5 and the final four races along with a $2 Pick Six as well as the Players’ Pick 5 – a 50-cent minimum bet with a reduced takeout rate of 14% rate – on the first five races.
The Pick Six will have the standard 70-30 split with 70% of the pool going to those tickets with six winners with the remaining 30% going to tickets with five of six winners. Faiza won the 2022 Starlet
There will also be a handicapping contest Saturday, Dec. 16 and the Los Alamitos Racing Association will offer a cash prize and a pair of berths in the 2024 National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Cost to enter is $500. Of that amount, $100 will be placed in the contest prize pool with the remaining $400 going towards a live money wagering card.
Tournament races will include the entire card at Los Alamitos with permitted wagers including win, place, show, exactas, trifectas and daily doubles.
The player with the highest bankroll at the end of the day will be declared the winner and the player with the second highest bankroll will be the runner-up.
The winner will receive 50% of the prize pool. The remaining payoffs: 20% (2nd place), 15% (3rd place), 7.5 % (4th place) and 7.5% (Most Money Wagered).
Entries for opening day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet will be taken Tuesday, Dec. 5.