Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who became the first trainer to win the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity and the Starlet in the same year in 2017, will try to duplicate the feat Saturday.
Baffert, who won the Futurity with McKinzie – after the disqualification of stablemate Solomini – and the Starlet with Dream Tree a year ago, will have two representatives in each of the Grade 1 events for 2-year-olds to be offered for the fifth time at Los Alamitos.
Baffert, who has won the Starlet – which is restricted to fillies – four times, is scheduled to run Chasing Yesterday and Mother Mother in that race after sending out Improbable and Mucho Gusto in the Futurity, a race he has captured 10 times, including all four at Los Alamitos.
Both the Starlet and CashCall Futurity were run previously at Hollywood Park (1981-2013).
Post time Saturday is 12:30 p.m. The Futurity is the fifth of nine races and has a scheduled post time of 2:28 p.m. while the Starlet goes about one hour later as the seventh race.
Won previously by stars such as Snow Chief, A.P. Indy, Best Pal, Real Quiet, Point Given, Lookin At Lucky and Shared Belief, the CashCall Futurity is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby'' series. Saturday's winner will receive 10 points towards securing a spot in the starting gate May 4, 2019 at Churchill Downs.
The Starlet, whose past winners include Althea, Very Subtle, Goodbye Halo, Sardula, Serena's Song, Surfside, Blind Luck, Take Charge Brandi and Abel Tasman, is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks'' series. The winner Saturday will receive 10 points towards earning a berth in the Kentucky Oaks next May 3 in Louisville.
Owned by WinStar Farm LLC, China Horse Club International Ltd. and Starlight Racing, Improbable is perfect in two starts. The son of City Zip and the A.P. Indy mare Rare Event, who was purchased for $200,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2017, followed up a maiden win at Santa Anita Sept. 29 with an impressive 7 ¼ length score when stretched to a mile in the Street Sense Stakes Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs. He has earned $89,520.
A $625,00 buy in May, Mucho Gusto broke his maiden by four lengths in his Sept. 20 debut at Los Alamitos before leading throughout to take the Grade III Bob Hope Nov. 17 at Del Mar. He's banked $84,000.
King of Speed, a double stakes winner on turf, will make his first start on dirt since June 22 for Del Secco DCS Racing and trainer Jeff Bonde.
A Jimmy Creed colt out of the A.P. Indy mare Beautiful Daniele, King of Speed won the Del Mar Juvenile Turf and Zuma Beach in succession after failing to win in his first four starts. He finished fourth in both of his races on dirt at 4 ½ and five furlongs, respectively.
Twelfth of 14 in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs, King of Speed has earned $145,980 in seven starts.
From inside out, the field for the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity: Improbable, Drayden Van Dyke rides, 120 pounds; Savagery, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Dueling, Mike Smith, 120; King of Speed, Kent Desormeaux, 120; Extra Hope, Flavien Prat, 120 and Mucho Gusto, Joe Talamo, 120.
A half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah, Chasing Yesterday will stretch out for the first time in search of her third consecutive victory.
Owned by breeder Summer Wind Equine, the Tapit filly out of the Yankee Gentleman mare Littleprincessemma, Chasing Yesterday, who broke her maiden at first asking July 28 at Del Mar, won the Anoakia Oct. 14 at Santa Anita before defeating two opponents in the Desi Arnaz Nov. 12. She's earned $144,250 in four races.
Mother Mother, a Pioneerof the Nile filly owned by a partnership that includes George Bolton, Barry Hall, Barry Lipman, Mark Mathiesen and Andrew Molasky returns to California after scoring a 1 ¾ length win in the Rags to Riches Oct. 28 at Churchill Downs.
The victory was the second in three attempts for Mother Mother, who is out of the Lion Hearted mare Mother. She has banked $159,161.
Trained by Michael McCarthy for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Jim and Donna Daniell, Vibrance will be seeking her second win in her fifth start. She was a distant third behind Jaywalk in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs after finishing third in the Grade I Chandelier Sept. 29.
A daughter of Violence and the Dynaformer mare Block, Vibrance has earned $279,600.
Owned by breeder Calumet Farm, the well-traveled Oxy Lady, an Oxbow filly out of the A.P. Indy mare Renaissance Lady, arrives in California after scoring a 36-1 surprise in the Grade III Tempted Nov. 2 at Aqueduct.
Trained by Jack Sisterson, a former assistant to Doug O'Neill, Oxy Lady is 2-for-4 with earnings of $105,830 and has yet to start at the same track twice. Prior to her win in Aqueduct, the bay had raced at Indiana Downs, Belterra Park and Keeneland.
The field is completed by a pair of last out maiden winners trained by O'Neill.
From inside out, the field for the Starlet: Vibrance, Flavien Prat rides, 120 pounds; Mother Mother, Florent Geroux, 120; Sold It, Mario Gutierrez, 120; Oxy Lady, Declan Cannon, 120; Enaya Alrabb, Mike Smith, 120 and Chasing Yesterday, Drayden Van Dyke, 120.
In addition to the Grade 1 races, the Los Alamitos Racing Association will also offer a cash prize and as many as three seats to the 2019 National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas with a live money contest Saturday.
Cost to enter the Los Alamitos Winter Qualifier is $400. 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 12:30 p.m. and players can begin entering the contest at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
Tournament races will include the entire card at Los Alamitos with permitted wagers including win, place, show, exactas, daily doubles and trifectas. Each entry must bet at least $60 on five races, but there is no wagering limit.
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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