Racing! The sad part of horse racing

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.

A necropsy is planned.

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.

Final thought

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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.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Are RatedTyler Baze122Eoin G. Harty5-140,000
2Kalypso NightStewart Elliott120Neil French5-235,000
3Princess BeckyTyler Conner122Hector O. Palma4-140,000
4EdnaRuben Fuentes122Steven Miyadi9-540,000
5GayebirdChristian Aragon122Patricia Harrington3-140,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $28,000. Starter Allowance. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1JeweledTyler Baze124John W. Sadler2-1
2Bobbie LincolnEvin Roman124Ronald W. Ellis9-5
3Warm It UpMartin Pedroza124Vernon E. Aguayo6-1
4Kentan RoadAsa Espinoza117John W. Sadler3-1
5DemigoddessModesto Linares124Charles R. Stutts6-1
6Warrior MomEdgar Payeras115Daniel Franko20-1


1 Mile. Purse: $40,000. Maiden Special Weight. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1ChickatiniEvin Roman120Peter Eurton7-2
2Journal EntryStewart Elliott120Carla Gaines9-2
3Take a LeapFranklin Ceballos120Jeff Mullins3-1
4ConvinceRafael Bejarano120Peter Eurton5-2
5Del Mar BabeTyler Baze120Scott Hansen8-1
6Just MineAsa Espinoza117John A. Shirreffs7-2


5 Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Prices $8,000-$7,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Lambo LuxxEvin Roman124Jack Carava2-18,000
2I'll Wrap It UpSantiago Gonzalez124Steven Miyadi8-58,000
3JustamitchJuan Sanchez124Salvador Naranjo10-18,000
4AjacEdgar Payeras117Angela Maria Aquino8-17,000
5Stoneys Mr CruiserKellie McDaid117Kelly Castaneda6-18,000
6TemplarTiago Pereira124Lorenzo Ruiz4-18,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $14,000. Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $8,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1La GalyTiago Pereira124Jaime H. Gomez2-18,000
2Callie MesaEdgar Orozco120Santos R. Perez10-18,000
3Coco SmoochesKellie McDaid117Kelly Castaneda5-18,000
4CheeseChristian Aragon124Angela Maria Aquino8-18,000
5Briartic GalEdgar Payeras119Reed Saldana5-28,000
6Sharp HolidayJuan Sanchez124Jesus Nunez5-28,000


5½ Furlongs. Purse: $22,000. Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $25,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1R Cha ChaSantiago Gonzalez124Steven Miyadi9-525,000
2Zapana's GameBrayan Pena124Daniel Dunham3-125,000
3Midnight SootTyler Conner120Jack Carava7-225,000
4Hollywood DancerKellie McDaid113James W. Glenn, Jr.12-125,000
5RhettbutlerTiago Pereira120Sam J. Scolamieri4-125,000
6Candyman GarretEvin Roman120Michael Pender5-125,000


1 Mile. Purse: $45,000. Allowance Optional Claiming. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $40,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Plain WrapAgapito Delgadillo121Javier Jose Sierra8-1
2SamdarTiago Pereira117Gary Stute12-1
3Avanti BelloEvin Roman121Doug F. O'Neill5-140,000
4Just KiddingAlonso Quinonez121Steve Knapp10-140,000
5DivisorSantiago Gonzalez121Philip D'Amato7-2
6Canadian GameAsa Espinoza113Doug F. O'Neill6-1
7IkeDrayden Van Dyke117Bob Baffert5-2
8Upper RoomTyler Baze121Peter Eurton12-1
9AquilaMartin Pedroza117Simon Callaghan8-1
10Desert GeneralTyler Conner121Sean McCarthy20-1


6 Furlongs. Purse: $15,000. Maiden Claiming. Fillies and Mares. 3 year olds and up. Claiming Price $20,000.

PPHorseJockeyWtTrainerM-LClaim $
1Veiled HeatFranklin Ceballos124Nestor M. Capitaine3-120,000
2Mischievious LassTyler Conner120Mark Glatt5-220,000
3Stella SweeperIsrael Ocampo124Oscar L. Garcia20-120,000
4Mariana's GirlEdgar Payeras113Hector O. Palma6-120,000
5KelseybelleAsa Espinoza117Andy Mathis7-220,000
6ScurryHeriberto Figueroa117Genaro Vallejo20-120,000
7Princess NicoleAlonso Quinonez124Val Brinkerhoff20-120,000
8Miss KitaenBrayan Pena120Peter Eurton4-120,000
9Grecian FortRuben Fuentes120Antonio Garcia30-120,000
10PeachyDiego Sanchez120George Papaprodromou20-120,000

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