Saturday, September 17, 2016



Bitzka, an impressive first out winner Aug. 25 at Del Mar, tops a field of six 2-year-old fillies in the $100,000 Barretts Debutante Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Scheduled for 6 ½ furlongs and restricted to horses offered for purchase at any Barretts sale, the Debutante is the eighth of nine races. Post time Saturday is 2 p.m. Approximate post time for the Debutante is 5:30 p.m.

There will also be a live money handicapping contest Saturday. The total cost to enter is $400 with $100 going into the prize pool – which will be guaranteed and capped at $10,000 – and the remaining $300 towards a live money wagering card.

Players must bet at least $50 on six Los Alamitos races and the permitted wagers are win, place, show and exactas. The player with the highest bankroll at the end of the day will be declared the winner and receive 50% of the prize pool.

The remaining payoffs: 20% (Second); 15% (Third), 10% (Fourth) and 5% (Fifth). Additionally, the top five finishers will earn a spot – including air fare and hotel accommodations – into next year’s Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Assocation National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

If there are more than 120 entrants in Saturday’s contest, a sixth spot into the DRF/NTRA championship will be added.

A daughter of Tiago and the Thunder Gulch mare Raindrop, Bitzka won by 4 ¼ lengths in her Del Mar debut, sitting just off the early pace then kicking clear late in the race at 5 ½ furlongs.

The Ohio bred was claimed out of the victory by Hronis Racing LLC and trainer John Sadler and has returned to work twice, including a 1:00.80 move Sept. 10.

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who leads all trainers with nine stakes victories since thoroughbred racing returned to Los Alamitos in July, 2014, will be represented in the Debutante by maidens Adorable and Diva La Mousse.

Owned by Team Pamplemousse and Slam Dunk Racing, Diva La Mousse finished fourth after showing speed in her Aug. 20 debut. The daughter of Hat Trick and the Gone West mare Westside Singer earned $3,780.

A daughter of Smart Strike and the Yes It’s True mare Cautionary Tale, Adorable cuts back for Baffert and owner Kaleem Shah after finishing fifth of seven going one mile Sept. 3.

Second in two of her four starts, Adorable has banked $25,345.

Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer entered Spooky Woods, a debuting daughter of Ghostzapper and the Forestry mare Winter Forest.

Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and Edwin Barker, Spooky Woods has a series of sharp local drills, including a best of the morning five furlongs (59.00) Aug. 19. She was purchased for $250,000 at the Barretts March sale earlier this year.

Like Baffert, owner-trainer Bobby Wayne Grayson will also saddle a pair of maidens.

Princess Nicole, a Discreetly Mine filly out of the Aldebaran mare Glorious Sky, has failed to hit the board in two starts while Reward of Roses is 0-for-3, including two losses in $32,000 claimers.

Princess Nicole has earned $1,465 while Reward of Roses, a Warrior’s Reward filly out of the Smoke Glacken mare Relay, has banked $4,480.

From inside out, the field for the 27th Barretts Debutante: Spooky Woods, Mike Smith rides, 116 pounds; Adorable, Stewart Elliott, 116;  Reward of Roses, Fernando Perez, 116; Princess Nicole, Jamie Theriot, 116; Diva  Mousse, Martin Pedroza, 116 and Bitzka, Tyler Baze, 116.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Down Home with Team O'Neill Ep. 4

Down Home with Team O'Neill Ep. 6

Trainer Doug O'Neill as he talks about Down Home with Team O'Neill and more


        Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith completed a sweep of the weekend stakes Sunday at Los Alamitos, directing Bendable to a gate-to-wire upset over 1-5 favorite Enola Gray in the $75,000 Beverly J. Lewis.

Smith, who had earned his fifth Los Alamitos stakes score Saturday in the $75,000 E.B. Johnston with 7-10 choice Soi Phet, broke quickly in his first collaboration with Bendable, a 3-year-old Horse Greeley filly, then shook off challenges from 35-1outsider Everqueen and Enola Gray, who entered unchallenged  in three starts vs. California breds, to prevail by 2 ¼ lengths.

Owned by breeder Claiborne Farm and trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Bendable completed the six furlongs in 1:08.84 for her third win in four starts. She paid $9 and $2.40 as the 7-2 second choice in the field of five.

Second in her lone loss in an optional claimer July 27 at Del Mar, Bendable’s $45,000 Sunday pushed her earnings to $127,000.

“I’ve never ridden her before but I talked to (Mandella) and he told me to ride her like it comes up and let her place herself,’’ said Smith. “She’s lightly raced and it came easy to her. I was really loaded at the top of the stretch.

“I have a lot of good memories in these silks with Lure and the back-to-back (1992-1993) Breeders’ Cup Mile wins.’’

A winner of her  previous races by a combined 26 ¼ lengths, Enola Gray came out a step slowly, moved up while in the clear to challenge early in the long stretch, but couldn’t keep pace with Bendable in the final eighth of a mile. The gray daughter of Grazen finished 3 ¼ lengths in front of Everqueen and paid $2.10. There was no show wagering.

Uptown Twirl, who won the Surfside Stakes during the Spring meet, and Jade Princess completed the order of finish.

One race before the Lewis, Toews On Ice, who was making his first start since winning the William B. Walker Stakes April 30 at Churchill Downs, broke the track record for six furlongs in defeating four rivals in a $51,200 optional claimer.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the son of Archarcharch won by 4 ¼ lengths as the 11-10 choice and completed the distance in 1:07.79. Thetime bettered the mark of 1:07.92 set by Sacred Ovation Sept. 25, 2015.

The win was the fifth in nine starts for the 3-year-old and increased his bankroll to $165,585.

Toews On Ice, who was second behind stablemate Mor Spirit in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity last Dec. 19, was one of three winners on the program for jockey Stewart Elliott, giving him nine victories through the first four days of the Los Angeles County Fair at Los Alamitos meet.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

California Chrome workout on Saturday, September 10 at Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos Fall Thoroughbred meet Announcer Bobby Neuman


 Fans are invited to come to Los Alamitos to see California Chrome, the 2014 Horse of the Year and North America’s richest thoroughbred with over $13.2 million in earnings, work five furlongs Saturday morning. There will be signage posted directing fans where to go to watch the drill.

The work is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. as the son of Lucky Pulpit, who has been stabled at Los Alamitos since January, 2014, continues his preparation for the Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes Oct. 1 at Santa Anita.

Saturday is California Chrome Day at Los Alamitos. Mariellen Yarc, the mayor of the City of Cypress, and Los Alamitos Racing Association general manager Brad McKinzie will make a special presentation to members of the 5-year-old’s team, including trainer Art Sherman, between the fourth and fifth races.

There will also be a California Chrome plush toy giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last – and a video montage will feature highlights of the California bred’s career.  In addition, there will be California Chrome posters located throughout the track for fans to write a message to members of Team California Chrome.

The main event on the nine-race program is the $75,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes for California breds – 3-year-olds & up – at one mile. Topping the field of five is Soi Phet, who is a two-time stakes winner at Los Alamitos. The Johnston goes as the eighth race.

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