Hello, my name is John Cherwa and welcome back to our horse racing newsletter as we have some bad news to report from Los Alamitos.
Wednesday’s running of the Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos was a celebration of age as Soi Phet, at 10 years old, won the race. But it was a very sad day for followers of the 8-year-old Magic Mark. The gelding was the second favorite and was running in second through the first 3/4s of the race.
But then he dropped back quickly and jockey Martin Garcia eased her in the stretch, finishing 33 lengths behind the seventh-place finisher. The horse walked off the course and back to the barns where he collapsed and died.
No doubt, this is the part of the sport that is most difficult to stomach. It takes a bit of your soul every time it happens, be in it in a race, during training or back at the barns. It happens at a rate that no one finds acceptable.
Magic Mark ran 24 times, winning six races. He had two stakes wins, the Harry F. Brubaker at Del Mar in 2016 and the Betrando at Los Alamitos in 2015. He won almost $400,000 lifetime. He was a Cal-bred, and ran a lot of stakes races, but only one that was graded. He’s was one of many hundreds of horses that helps feed the engine for racing in California. He gave five years of his life racing without ever leaving Southern California.
We don’t write about every horse death, not that we aren’t constantly told by the anti-racing folks that we should. As I’ve said in the past, this death is no more tragic or sad than any other. But, for whatever reason, this one just seemed worth mentioning.
Los Alamitos thoroughbred preview
Firday’s eight-race card, starting at 1 p.m., is a bit on the thin side. The field sizes are meager at best. In the first six races, there isn’t one with more than six horses. Five of the races are claimers, with the top purse being $22,000.
The feature is the seventh, a one-mile allowance/optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up. It has a decent field size of 10 for a purse of $45,000. The 5-2 favorite is Ike, for trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Drayden Van Dyke. He’s run four times, winning his first race and following it wth one second and two thirds.
The second favorite, at 7-2, is Divisor, for trainer Phil D’Amato and jockey Santiago Gonzalez. He has won two of his last three races, but the two wins came before a six-month layoff. He finished fifth in his only start this year, last month at Santa Anita.
The field sizes, in order: 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 10, 10.
Jose Contreras LRC play of the day
THIRD RACE: No.1 Chickatini (7-2)
She stalked the pace and weakened to seventh in her most recent effort when going seven furlongs at Santa Anita. Her best effort to date was three starts back when she set the pace, took some pace pressure and held on for second when going around two turns on the dirt. She now stretches back out today and lands a field without a ton of early speed. She’s trained locally over this track and the inside post should be beneficial with the short run going into the first turn.
Wednesday’s result: Latitude led at the opening quarter and was still competitive entering the stretch but faded to fifth in the six-horse field.
Jose Contreras is an excellent handicapper and well known on social media and familiar to racing fans watching on TVG. You can follow him on twitter at @losponies or check him out at his website.
Los Alamitos nighttime weekend preview
This weekly segment is in the hands of Orlando Gutierrez, marketing and media maven at Los Al. So, the floor is yours, Orlando.
“The evening portion of the second weekend of doubleheaders at Los Alamitos Race Course will be headed by the Grade 1, $170,500 Vessels Maturity on Sunday night and the $20,000 Independence Day Handicap on Saturday night. Post time on Friday night’s eight-race program starts at 7 p.m.
“Bill Hoburg’s BH Lisas Boy looks to defend his Vessels Maturity title when he takes on a strong field headed by fastest qualifier Tarzanito. BH Lisas Boy has already defended one title this year by winning the Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship for the second straight year. He looked ready for his title defense when he competed in the Vessels trials on June 17, posting the second fastest qualifying time of 19.731 seconds. BH Lisas Boy was making his first start since running second in the Moonist Handicap on March 25.
“’I was concerned with the layoff that long,’ Hoburg said. ‘He doesn’t have the best knees in the world. I didn’t want to get too many works under him for free. We had two light works under him and I was hoping that was enough. It was a little nerve wracking, but it worked out alright.’
“BH Lisas Boy has won 19 of 31 career starts. Cesar De Alba will ride. The winner of the Vessels Maturity final will earn a berth to the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions to be held on Dec. 15.
“On Saturday night, stablemates Royaltys Authority and Kissed By An Eagle return to action. The stakes winning geldings are trained by Roman Figueroa, who’ll send Royaltys Authority in the Grade 3 $20,000 Independence Day Handicap in the featured eighth race; and the Grade 1 stakes placed standout Kissed By An Eagle in the sixth race allowance. Saturday’s card has eight race with a 6 p.m. post.
“Royaltys Authority has won his last three starts, including a half-length victory in the Kaweah Bar Handicap on May 5. The gelding began his current streak with a 1 1/4 length victory against $25,000 claimers before posting a 1 1/2 length win against $50,000 claimers.
“As for the Friday night, look for One Sweet Racy, the runner-up in the Grade 1 All American Derby in 2017, to shine in the featured eighth – a conditioned allowance event. One Sweet Racy arrives here after running second in the Decketta Stakes and third in the Junos Request Stakes both at Remington Park. She only has one win in 13 starts so she’s still eligible to compete for non-winners of two races.”
Ed Burgart’s LA play of the day
FIFTH RACE: No. 4 Prize In Excess (5-2)
He is a debuting colt who caught my eye in last strong 12.2 gate drill when outworking two other horses by nearly three lengths in a three-team set. After drifting in steadily to the 1/16-pole, he displayed a nice stride while well in hand. He draws outside the horse he must beat in Transcend, who has been second in two of three starts while failing to show any dramatic improvement.
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And now the star of the show, Friday’s entries.
Los Alamitos Race Course Entries for Friday, July 6.
Los Alamitos Race Course, Los Alamitos, California. 6th day of a 12-day meet.
5 Furlongs. Purse: $18,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies. 2 year olds. Claiming Prices $40,000-$35,000.
|1||Are Rated||Tyler Baze||122||Eoin G. Harty||5-1||40,000|
|2||Kalypso Night||Stewart Elliott||120||Neil French||5-2||35,000|
|3||Princess Becky||Tyler Conner||122||Hector O. Palma||4-1||40,000|
|4||Edna||Ruben Fuentes||122||Steven Miyadi||9-5||40,000|
|5||Gayebird||Christian Aragon||122||Patricia Harrington||3-1||40,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Jeweled||Tyler Baze||124||John W. Sadler||2-1|| |
|2||Bobbie Lincoln||Evin Roman||124||Ronald W. Ellis||9-5|| |
|3||Warm It Up||Martin Pedroza||124||Vernon E. Aguayo||6-1|| |
|4||Kentan Road||Asa Espinoza||117||John W. Sadler||3-1|| |
|5||Demigoddess||Modesto Linares||124||Charles R. Stutts||6-1|| |
|6||Warrior Mom||Edgar Payeras||115||Daniel Franko||20-1|| |
1 Mile. Purse: $40,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.
|1||Chickatini||Evin Roman||120||Peter Eurton||7-2|| |
|2||Journal Entry||Stewart Elliott||120||Carla Gaines||9-2|| |
|3||Take a Leap||Franklin Ceballos||120||Jeff Mullins||3-1|| |
|4||Convince||Rafael Bejarano||120||Peter Eurton||5-2|| |
|5||Del Mar Babe||Tyler Baze||120||Scott Hansen||8-1|| |
|6||Just Mine||Asa Espinoza||117||John A. Shirreffs||7-2|| |
5 Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.
|1||Lambo Luxx||Evin Roman||124||Jack Carava||2-1||8,000|
|2||I'll Wrap It Up||Santiago Gonzalez||124||Steven Miyadi||8-5||8,000|
|3||Justamitch||Juan Sanchez||124||Salvador Naranjo||10-1||8,000|
|4||Ajac||Edgar Payeras||117||Angela Maria Aquino||8-1||7,000|
|5||Stoneys Mr Cruiser||Kellie McDaid||117||Kelly Castaneda||6-1||8,000|
|6||Templar||Tiago Pereira||124||Lorenzo Ruiz||4-1||8,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $8,000.
|1||La Galy||Tiago Pereira||124||Jaime H. Gomez||2-1||8,000|
|2||Callie Mesa||Edgar Orozco||120||Santos R. Perez||10-1||8,000|
|3||Coco Smooches||Kellie McDaid||117||Kelly Castaneda||5-1||8,000|
|4||Cheese||Christian Aragon||124||Angela Maria Aquino||8-1||8,000|
|5||Briartic Gal||Edgar Payeras||119||Reed Saldana||5-2||8,000|
|6||Sharp Holiday||Juan Sanchez||124||Jesus Nunez||5-2||8,000|
5½ Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000.
|1||R Cha Cha||Santiago Gonzalez||124||Steven Miyadi||9-5||25,000|
|2||Zapana's Game||Brayan Pena||124||Daniel Dunham||3-1||25,000|
|3||Midnight Soot||Tyler Conner||120||Jack Carava||7-2||25,000|
|4||Hollywood Dancer||Kellie McDaid||113||James W. Glenn, Jr.||12-1||25,000|
|5||Rhettbutler||Tiago Pereira||120||Sam J. Scolamieri||4-1||25,000|
|6||Candyman Garret||Evin Roman||120||Michael Pender||5-1||25,000|
1 Mile. Purse: $45,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.
|1||Plain Wrap||Agapito Delgadillo||121||Javier Jose Sierra||8-1|| |
|2||Samdar||Tiago Pereira||117||Gary Stute||12-1|| |
|3||Avanti Bello||Evin Roman||121||Doug F. O'Neill||5-1||40,000|
|4||Just Kidding||Alonso Quinonez||121||Steve Knapp||10-1||40,000|
|5||Divisor||Santiago Gonzalez||121||Philip D'Amato||7-2|| |
|6||Canadian Game||Asa Espinoza||113||Doug F. O'Neill||6-1|| |
|7||Ike||Drayden Van Dyke||117||Bob Baffert||5-2|| |
|8||Upper Room||Tyler Baze||121||Peter Eurton||12-1|| |
|9||Aquila||Martin Pedroza||117||Simon Callaghan||8-1|| |
|10||Desert General||Tyler Conner||121||Sean McCarthy||20-1|| |
6 Furlongs. Purse: $15,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.
|1||Veiled Heat||Franklin Ceballos||124||Nestor M. Capitaine||3-1||20,000|
|2||Mischievious Lass||Tyler Conner||120||Mark Glatt||5-2||20,000|
|3||Stella Sweeper||Israel Ocampo||124||Oscar L. Garcia||20-1||20,000|
|4||Mariana's Girl||Edgar Payeras||113||Hector O. Palma||6-1||20,000|
|5||Kelseybelle||Asa Espinoza||117||Andy Mathis||7-2||20,000|
|6||Scurry||Heriberto Figueroa||117||Genaro Vallejo||20-1||20,000|
|7||Princess Nicole||Alonso Quinonez||124||Val Brinkerhoff||20-1||20,000|
|8||Miss Kitaen||Brayan Pena||120||Peter Eurton||4-1||20,000|
|9||Grecian Fort||Ruben Fuentes||120||Antonio Garcia||30-1||20,000|
|10||Peachy||Diego Sanchez||120||George Papaprodromou||20-1||20,000|