Los Alamitos Racing Association (2024)

SWEET AZTECA ESTABLISHES TRACK RECORD IN EASY GREAT LADY M VICTORY

CYPRESS, Calif. –Making her first start since winning the Grade I Beholder Mile almost four months ago, heavily-favored Sweet Azteca dominated her nine rivals in a record setting performance in the Grade II, $202,500 Great Lady M Stakes Saturday at Los Alamitos.

The 7-10 favorite in her local debut, the 4-year-old daughter of Sharp Azteca won by five lengths in 1:14.33 for the 6 ½ furlongs, eclipsing the previous track record for the distance of 1:14.49 set by Finest City when she won the 2016 Great Lady M.

Los Alamitos Racing Association (1)The connections of Sweet Azteca – Hernandez, owner-breeder Pamela Ziebarth and trainer Michael McCarthy – hope the record is a sign of things to come. After her win in the Great Lady M, Finest City went on to capture the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint six months later at Santa Anita.

The win was the fourth in five starts for Sweet Azteca and the $120,000 payday increased her bankroll to $421,200. She returned $3.40, $3 and $2.60.

Outrun early by 7-1 second choice Daddysruby, who won the Grade I La Brea last Dec. 26, the gray, who is out of the Grand Slam mare So Sweetittiz, Sweet Azteca was content to track early, ranged up outside the eventual runner-up with about three-eighths of a mile to run, then drew away while being geared down approaching the wire.

“The race didn’t really play out like I thought it would,’’ said McCarthy. “I thought she’s pretty quick in her own right, so I figured she would go ahead and establish herself, but it was nice to see her be able to sit off (Daddysruby).

“It was her first time here, first time shipping and the configuration of the track is a little different than what she is used to and she was kind of playing a little bit at the top of the stretch, but she leveled off and got the job done.

“She has certainly progressed all year long. Obviously the Beholder Mile was a breakout performance for her.

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“We had our sights set on taking her to Kentucky for the (Grade I) Derby City Distaff (on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 4), but she busted open her knee in her stall getting excited for feed time one day, so we had to go to Plan B and this race fit on the calendar for us.

“It’s always nice to win at Los Alamitos. I enjoy being here.’’

In his first collaboration with Sweet Azteca, Hernandez added to his record of daytime thoroughbred stakes wins. The victory was his 18th here.

“She is a very nice filly,’’ he said. “(Daddysruby) outbroke us and I just let her go. I was very happy with our position and she was always traveling well. She switched leads in the stretch and just took off.’’

Making her first start since finishing second in the Matron Stakes March 30 at Oaklawn Park, Daddysruby wound up seven lengths in front of third-place finisher Super Shine, who was off poorly from the inside post.

Daddysruby paid $5.20 and $4 while the show price on Super Shine was $5.60.

Olivia Twist, Getthemoney, Irish Wahine, Chismosa, Anywho, Yuki and Three Witches – who is also trained by McCarthy – completed the order of finish.

The second leading thoroughbred rider at night at Los Alamitos, Ricardo Ramirez had his first three win afternoon Saturday.

In fact, he had a natural hat trick with a trio of longshots, winning the second with Abadon ($40.40), the third with Island Life ($14.40) and the fourth with Smarty Nose ($16.60).

Those outsiders combined with a $70.80 shocker by Letshaveonemore in the fifth keyed a Pick 5 that returned $113,841.15. There were two winning tickets.

The record daytime thoroughbred Pick 5 payoff - $265,806 - was Dec. 11, 2016.

After a two-day carryover, there was one winning ticket in the Pick Six Saturday worth $272,293.20.

Racing will resume Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time for closing day of the Los Angeles County Fair meet is 1 p.m.

WANNEBO AND RAMIREZ EARN NHC BERTHS

TOP 10 IN SUMMER CONTEST

1ST $4,115.00 J. Wannebo

2nd $3,674 H. Ramirez

3rd $2,515 F. Sima

4th $2,416 P. Sluis

5th $2,200 L. Rodriguez

6th $1,832 -Pete Sluis

7th $1,583 - R. Gant

8th $1,219 - K. Ray

9th $1,041 - D. Chavez

10th $926 - D. Snyder

King of the Churn Award to Nate Newby

115 Entries and 77 individual players

WYNSTOCK COMPLETES FUTURITY AND DERBY DOUBLE

CYPRESS, Calif. – Los Alamitos certainly brings out the best in Wynstock.No better than sixth in three previous tries this year after wrapping up 2023 with a 13-1 upset in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity last Dec. 16, the son of Solomini responded with a nose victory over stablemate Cornell and three other 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Los Alamitos Derby Saturday.

Los Alamitos Racing Association (3)In the process, Wynstock, the 4-1 third choice, provided Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert with his eighth consecutive Los Alamitos Derby victory and ninth in the last 10 years.

Owned by Los Alamitos owner Dr. Ed Allred and F. Jack Liebau, the vice-president of the Los Alamitos Racing Association, Wynstock collected his third win in eight starts and pushed his earnings to $243,740. He completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.51.

The New York bred, who was purchased for $700,000 at the OBS sale in April of last year, also made some history becoming the first horse to win both the Los Alamitos Futurity – which was offered at Hollywood Park (1981-2013) - and the Los Alamitos Derby – which was run at Hollywood as the Swaps Stakes (1974-2013) ) - since the two races have been run here.

Two horses previously completed the Swaps-Futurity double – the Baffert-trained Captain Steve won the 1999 Hollywood Futurity and 2000 Swaps and Shared Belief captured the final Hollywood Futurity in 2013 and the inaugural Los Alamitos Derby in 2014.

Los Alamitos Racing Association (4)Unable to outrun heavily-favored Tapalo for the early lead, Wynstock was second early on under jockey Kyle Frey, but dropped back to next-to-last at one point before rallying on the inside to edge Cornell, the 3-1 second choice.

Wynstock returned $10.80 and $4. Cornell paid $3.40 to place and there was no show wagering.

Seeking to win beyond seven furlongs for the first time in his career, Tapalo, who won the Lazaro Barrera Stakes by seven lengths last month at Santa Anita, opened up a sizable lead through quick fractions – he led by seven after three-quarters of a mile in 1:09.63 – but had nothing to offer in the final quarter of a mile.

The Tapiture colt wound up fourth as the 7-10 choice, a nose behind 6-1 shot Curlin’s Kaos. Kamaina Cruiser, the largest price in the field at 18-1, completed the order of finish.

Baffert wasn’t optimistic about Wynstock’s chances after he was outrun early.

“I thought his only chance was to be on the lead,’’ he said. “But he runs well here because he likes a firmer surface.

“He couldn’t make the lead, so (Frey) just grabbed him and (Tapalo) was out there by himself. I knew Cornell was going to make a run. I thought Cornell was going to cut the corner down the stretch, but he stayed outside and (Tapalo) was drifting out on him.

“I saw a horse flying on the inside and I thought, ‘Son of a gun,’ and then I realized, ‘Oh, that’s my horse, he came back.’

“We know Wynstock has a lot of talent. It’s mental with him. I’m just happy we won and ran 1-2. It’s nice to win for Doc. I’m a big fan of his. It’s nice to hang with him and reminisce and tell old stories.’’

Frey, who has been aboard for all three of Wynstock’s victories, said he just let the chestnut settle early.

“I was hoping he would have something for the stretch because he ran so well here before when he won the Futurity,’’ he said. I stayed inside because I didn’t want to break his momentum.’’

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 1 p.m.

NONE ABOVE THE LAW SCORES 9-1 UPSET IN OPENING DAY BERTRANDO

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CYPRESS, Calif – The longest shot in the field at 9-1, None Above the Law ended a lengthy losing streak with a last-to-first victory in the $100,000 Bertrando Stakes Saturday at Los Alamitos, opening day of the Los Angeles County Fair meet.

Completing a double for trainer Jorge Periban and jockey Antonio Fresu, the 6-year-old Karakontie gelding won for the first time since taking the Grade II Del Mar Derby Sept. 4, 2021 when trained by Peter Miller for owner-breeders J. Kirk and Judy Robison.

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Nineteen consecutive defeats followed, including three for his current connections – Periban and owner Hector Castrellon – who claimed None Above the Law for $50,000 Feb. 24, before his heroics Saturday.

Content to trail while 3-1 third choice Dont Fight the Fed and 9-10 favorite Cowboy Mike battled through 23.17, 46.16 and 1:10.57 splits for the first six furlongs, None Above the Law rallied on the outside to outfinish 19-10 second choice by three-quarters of a length.

The win was his seventh in 34 starts and the $60,000 payday pushed his earnings to $633,802. He paid $20 and $5.80 while completing the mile in 1:35.76.

Lovesick Blues, who was also second in the 2023 Bertrando behind favored Kings River Knight, returned $3.40. There was no show wagering after Tom and Horn and Dick Best were scratched earlier in the day, reducing the field to four.

Dont Fight the Fed wound up five lengths behind Lovesick Blues in third while finishing nearly two lengths in front of Cowboy Mike.

Even though None Above the Law was sixth, fourth and seventh in his first three races after the claim, Periban didn’t lose confidence in the gray, who is out of the Northern Afleet mare Legally Blanca.

“He had been running with a little bit tougher the last few times he had run and he had been doing better and better in the morning,’’ said Periban, who won earlier in the afternoon with favored Ace Ace Baby. “(Fresu) told me a couple of the other horses in here were going to go, so he just waited.

“I never lost faith in this horse after we claimed him. He’s got a lot of talent and I’ve always had a good feeling about him.’’

The stakes win was the first at Los Alamitos for Fresu, who also won the meet opener with Prancingthruparis.

“(Periban) said he was doing great,’’ said Fresu. “He was very relaxed warming up and seemed to be enjoying things.

“I let him get into a rhythm down the backstretch and then I swung him out for the stretch and he showed his class.’’

Two jockeys picked up their first wins at Los Alamitos Saturday. Jeremy Laprida scored with the aforementioned Ace Ace Baby in the fourth while apprentice Welfin Orantes rallied to win the eighth with 2-1 second choice Court Snort.

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 1 p.m.

LOS ALAMITOS THOROUGHBRED MEET BROADCAST

TO INCLUDE GRAPHIC SHOWING PROJECTED CLOSING ODDS

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The Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Meet will feature an 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 Thoroughbred Meet, the track will be showing these “In Play” projected closing odds starting with the third race on Saturday’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 LACF Thoroughbred Meet will open on Saturday, June 22 and continue through Sunday, July 7. The first post each day will be at 1 p.m. For more information, pleasevisit LosAlamitos.com.

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Los Alamitos Racing Association (2024)
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