A pair of Grade 1 races for juvenile Thoroughbreds take top billing this weekend at Los Alamitos, each offering 10 points to the winner on the Roads to the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks.
Up first, the talented Bob Baffert trainee Mastery has scared off all but four other competitors in the G1 CashCall Futurity, to be held over 1 1/16 miles at Los Alamitos Saturday. Easily undefeated in both of his career starts, including a win in the G3 Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar, the juvenile son of Candy Ride has all the appearances of becoming his trainer's next “big” horse if he can successfully negotiate the step up to two-turn competition. His closest rival will likely be stablemate Show Me Da Lute, a winner at first asking at Santa Anita, followed by the Peter Miller-trained Bobby Abu Dhabi, a gutsy winner at Del Mar.
In the G1 Starlet, restricted to 2-year-old fillies, another Baffert trainee holds sway over the morning-line odds in the form of American Gal. This daughter of Concord Point won her first two starts before finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last out after she broke poorly. She will face the talented Union Strike, winner of the G1 Del Mar Debutante before changing to the care of Craig Dollase and finishing sixth in the Breeders' Cup, as well as a field of nine total fillies. Other probable contenders include G3 Tempted Stakes runner-up Berned and the stakes-placed Tapped.
Also on Saturday, the Fair Grounds has lined up a solid card of Louisiana-bred Thoroughbreds in the form of Louisiana Champions Day, a series of eight stakes races for state-breds at the New Orleans-based oval.
On Sunday, the Hong Kong Jockey Club will host a strong series of international races at its Sha Tin Racecourse, presented by Longines. A Shin Hikari and Maurice will do battle in the Hong Kong Cup, Able Friend highlights the Hong Kong Mile, Peniaphobia is the fan-favorite in the Hong Kong Sprint, and Highland Reel will hope to repeat in the Hong Kong Mile.
Also highlighting international competition on Sunday is the G1 Clasico Internacional del Caribe, a $300,000 event held this year at Camarero Racetrack in Puerto Rico. Restricted to the top 3-year-old horses across the Carribbean, the Clasico will again feature several United States-based jockeys. Joel Rosario, Ricardo Santana, Jr., and Emisael Jaramillo will all make the trip to contest the major event. In 2017, the race will be held at Gulfstream Park in south Florida.
Finally, the $300,000 Remington Springboard Mile will close out the racing action on Sunday evening, with a field of 12 juveniles lining up for the $300,000 prize. Held over a mile at Remington Park, this year's favorite is likely to be the Joe Sharp-trained Cool Arrow, a stakes-winning son of Into Mischief with five starts already under his belt. Kenny McPeek will ship in recent maiden winner Young American, and Steve Asmussen will try a three-pronged attack with Totality, Prados Way and Equator.
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