Los Alamitos, stung by the shortage of horses in the wake of 30 fatalities at Santa Anita, has cancelled Thursday’s card because of a lack of entries. It is the third day that Los Alamitos has cancelled in its three-week meeting.
Well in advance of the its opening weekend, it cancelled Thursday and Friday racing and started on the weekend.
It’s not just Los Alamitos that has felt the lack of horses. Santa Anita spent the last half of its marathon season running only three days a week. Del Mar, which is scheduled to run Wednesday through Sunday, has three less races a week. Its new schedule calls for seven races each Wednesday and Thursday, eight each Friday and Sunday, and nine Saturday.
The average field size at Los Alamitos the first weekend was 6.7 horses per race. The average field size this weekend was 6.6. The average field size Thursday was 5.6 over only seven races. The weekend cards were nine races.
“We were hoping she would run like that,’’ said winning trainer Bob Baffert. “When [jockey Drayden Van Dyke] asked her to go he had a lot of horse. … I like coming here. Los Alamitos has a great surface and it is fair. Horses can win on the lead or from off the pace.’’
Marley’s Freedom paid $3.20 to win. Anonymity was second and Exuberance was third.