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CYPRESS, CA – Runner-up behind the talented California-bred The Chosen Vron in the Affirmed (G3) June 13, Defunded will try for his first stakes success in the $150,000 Los Alamitos Derby (G3) Sunday.
Restricted to 3-year-olds and scheduled for 1 1/8 miles, the Los Alamitos Derby will go as the fourth of 9 races. Post time Sunday is 1 p.m. Scheduled post time for the main event is 2:28 p.m.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Defunded has a win in 5 starts and earnings of $140,700. He had the lead in the stretch in the Affirmed but was unable to withstand the closing surge of The Chosen Vron while finishing 11 lengths ahead of the rest of the field.
A gelded son of Dialed In and the Touch Gold mare Wind Caper, Defunded will be trying to give Baffert his fifth consecutive victory in the Los Alamitos Derby and his sixth in the last 7 years. His half-dozen wins in the race since 2014 include Gimme Da Lute (2015), West Coast (2017), Once On Whiskey (2018), Game Winner (2019), and Uncle Chuck (2020).
Baffert also entered Classier, a distant third as the 7/5 favorite in the Affirmed.
Owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm LLC, and Robert Masterson, the Empire Maker colt out of the Bernardini mare Class Will Tell has 1 win in 3 starts and has earned $65,000.
Trained by Bob Hess Jr. for Doug Gans, Gary Jacobs, Larry Katz, and Kevin Riggs, It’s My House returns to California after being eased over a sloppy surface in the $300,000 Texas Derby May 31 at Lone Star Park.
A son of Anthony’s Cross and the Grand Reward mare Gerry’s Reward, It’s My House has won twice in 6 starts and banked $60,760. A second-out maiden winner January 31 at Golden Gate Fields when trained by Jamey Thomas, the Florida-bred cashed as the favorite in the Turf Paradise Derby March 12 for his other win in his initial race for Hess.
Owned by the Clarke M. Cooper Family Trust, Mia Familia Racing Stable, and Wade Jacobsen and trained by John Sadler – who won the 2016 Los Alamitos Derby with Accelerate – Back Ring Luck will be seeking his first on-the-board finish in California.
The Malibu Moon gelding out of the Rahy mare Patti O’Rahy was eased in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) April 3, then was fourth and fifth in a pair of optional claimers May 15 and June 5, with the latter effort coming on turf.
Back Ring Luck won twice in 5 starts before shipping to this coast. He defeated $30,000 maidens at Churchill Downs last November 13 when trained by W. Bret Calhoun, then won an optional claimer for trainer Al Cates March 5 at Oaklawn Park after being claimed out of his initial win.
Jimmy Blue Jeans Steals Snow Chief
A close fourth in the Snow Chief Stakes on turf June 19, Ingest will switch to the main track for owners Grant Alvernaz and Steve Ribeiro and trainer Doug O’Neill.
A son of Square Eddie and the Rock Hard Ten mare Octogarian, the gelding is 1 for 9 with a bankroll of $58,180. His lone win came at 8 furlongs on turf last September 26. He’s yet to hit the board in 3 attempts on dirt.
From inside out, the field for the Los Alamitos Derby: Classier, Mike Smith rides, 122 pounds; It’s My House, Edwin Maldonado, 122; Defunded, Abel Cedillo, 122; Back Ring Luck, Tyler Baze, 122 and Ingest, Juan Hernandez, 122.
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