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Aaron previews the 2023 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) from Los Alamitos, then gives his top picks from this 2024 Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race.
The Grade 1-placed Wine Me Up leads fellow Bob Baffert trainees Coach Prime and Wynstock, but could trainer Tim Yakteen upset the Baffert brigade for the 2nd straight year? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert entered the trio of Coach Prime, Wine Me Up and Wynstock as he seeks his eighth win in 10 years in the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Futurity Saturday.
The race at 1 1/16 miles for 2-year-olds is the last of nine races on the next-to-last day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos. Post time Saturday is 12:30 p.m. Approximate post time for the Futurity is 4:30 p.m.
Owned by Zedan Racing Stables Inc., Coach Prime switched to dirt in his second career start and responded with a 7 ¼ length win as the 7-5 favorite a little over five weeks ago at Del Mar.
A son of Quality Road and the Street Sense mare Act Now, Coach Prime, who was purchased for $1.7 million at the 2022 Keeneland September sale, has earned $43,920.
Owned by Dr. Edward Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos, and F. Jack Liebau, vice president of the Los Alamitos Racing Association, Wynstock steps into stakes company after upsetting maidens by 7 ½ lengths Oct. 15 at Santa Anita.
Dispatched at 13-1, the son of Solomini and the Flatter mare Timberlea led throughout in his first race beyond 6 ½ furlongs. He’s banked $42,740 in three starts.
Wine Me Up will try to rebound after he was well beaten in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile dominated by Fierceness Nov. 3.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the Vino Rosso colt out of the Kitten’s Joy mare Deanaallen’skitten was a debut winner at Del Mar going 6 furlongs.
He was then runner-up behind stablemate Muth in the Grade I American Pharoah prior to finishing eighth in the BC Juvenile. He’s earned $129,200.
Trainer Tim Yakteen, who won the 2022 Los Alamitos Futurity with Practical Move, will try for back-to-back victories with Moonlit Sonata.
A son of Malibu Moon and the Distorted Humor mare Distorted Champ owned by Soma Racing Stables LLC, Moonlit Sonata goes long after rallying from off the pace to win his sprint debut at 33-1 Nov. 25. The 2 ½ length decision was worth $36,600.
Stronghold will try two turns for the first time after finishing a distant second behind Nysos in the Grade III Bob Hope last month.
Owned by breeders Eric and Sharon Waller and trained by Phil D’Amato, the Ghostzapper colt out of the Jimmy Creed mare Spectator was second in his Ellis Park debut Aug. 27, then won going a mile as the odds-on choice Oct. 1 at Churchill Downs before shipping to California. He’s banked $104,400.
Completing the field is Ace of Clubs. Trained by Doug O’Neill for ERJ Racing LLC, Fritz Brothers Racing LLC, Pappas Horse Racing Corp and Pablo Suarez, the son of Mor Spirit and the Orb mare Rustic Chic returns to the main track after consecutive off the board finishes on turf.
He’s won two of five and earned $79,680, but the wins came vs. lesser competition in sprints during the Summer meet at Del Mar.
In addition, the Los Alamitos Racing Association will offer two seats to the 2024 National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas with a live money contest.
The cost to enter is $500. Of that amount, $100 will be placed in the contest prize pool with the remaining funds going towards a live-money wagering card.
Contestants must enter prior to 1 p.m. Dec. 16.
Tournament races will include the entire card at Los Alamitos with permitted wagers including win, place, show, exactas, trifectas and daily doubles.
Each entry must bet at least $400 during the contest to be eligible for prizes.
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, which will be capped at $10,000. The remaining payoffs: 20% (2nd place), 15% (3rd place), 7.5% (4th place) and 7.5% (most money wagered).
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