2014 Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Meet



  • From Horse Racing Radio Network facebook: Sherman - there's a chance @CalChrome will run at @losalracing on Sept. 27.
  • Valuable lessons noted at new Los Alamitos summer meet: http://www.drf.com/news/valuable-lessons-noted-new-los-alamitos-summer-meet
  • From Southern California Horse Racing facebook: Thoughts and Observations on the Los Alamitos Meet
    We saw a new beginning in Southern California racing over the last two weeks. We also saw a colt who could become one of the circuit's newest superstars. A young rider that has made an impact on the jockey colony during the last several months reached a milestone by capturing the riding title.

    These are just some of the moments Los Alamitos played host two over the last fortnight. The Cypress track has now become a regular fixture on the Thoroughbred racing calendar here in the Southland, and its first Summer Thoroughbred Festival produced a plethora of interesting stories. Here are some thoughts and observations from the circuit's two week trip to Los Alamitos.
    ◾What a performance by Shared Belief in the Los Alamitos Derby. After capturing his comeback effort at Golden Gate Fields in late May, the colt followed it up with a dazzling stretch run in Cypress. That will make fans eager for the Pacific Classic at Del Mar next month.
    ◾It is very difficult to get used to the Los Alamitos Derby not being called the Swaps Stakes.
    ◾Drayden Van Dyke has certainly attracted attention since joining the jockey colony last year. After a fine showing at Santa Anita, the apprentice rider has secured his first riding title. With the way Van Dyke's career is going, that looks to be just the first of many titles to come.
    ◾Van Dyke should also be proud of taking four races in the Pick 5 on July 6th.
    ◾Another jockey who rode well over the eight day meet was Elvis Trujillo, who captured third place in the jockey standings, and finished in the top three in twenty-one of his thirty-five mounts, which equates to sixty percent.
    ◾You know who else likes Los Alamitos? That would be Agapito Delgadillo, who was in the top three in eleven of sixteen mounts, or sixty-nine percent.
    ◾Several veteran jockeys made the most from their starts. Kent Desormeaux won three times (two of them stakes), and was second twice in ten mounts. Mike Smith won two races (both were graded stakes), and was second and third in two other races. Smith only had five mounts the whole meet. Victor Espinoza only raced four times at Los Alamitos, but was on the board each time. Iggy Puglisi was in the top three in six of eight races, and that includes one victory.
    ◾This was not the best of meets for Tyler Baze, who only won twice. Look for him to bounce back at Del Mar.
    ◾Congratulations to Martin Pedroza, who returned from injury late in the Santa Anita meeting and rode three winners at Los Alamitos.
    ◾The trainer standings for the meet were quite interesting. Peter Miller took the title with three wins, and then something happened that you don't see every day. A fifteen-way tie for second place followed. This included several big names like Bob Baffert, Jerry Hollendorfer and Ron Ellis.
    ◾Some trainers who did well at Santa Anita followed up that success at Los Alamitos. Richard Baltas won two races and had five of eight starters finish in the top three. Philip D'Amato had two wins and a second in four starts.
    ◾Trainer Leonard Powell had two starters, but got two wins.
    ◾Another conditioner that put together a good meet was Brian Koriner, who won twice, had two seconds and one third in seven starts.
    ◾Interestingly, Doug O'Neill only won a single race at the meet. He also had four seconds and three thirds. After winning the Santa Anita spring/summer meet title, O'Neill is looking to rebound at Del Mar.
    ◾Ron Ellis continues to do well on the circuit. In five starts, he notched two wins, two seconds, and one third. Keep an eye on Ellis. He may not have a large barn, but he can post results.
    ◾Only in horse racing would this happen. Handicapping the closing day card, I loved seeing a horse named Shemp listed in the 4th race. I am a big Three Stooges fans, so naturally I loved the name. Unfortunately, Shemp was scratched. Hopefully all is well with Shemp. And then in the 9th race, another name caught my eye: WeekendwithBernie. One of my favorite movies is Weekend at Bernie's, so I had to root for this horse. He was not my top choice, but I would have been thrilled to see him win.
    ◾The owner standings also saw a tie. After the final race, four owners shared the top spot: Mike Harrington, Jay Em Ess Stable, Hugo E. Catalan, and Rafael A. Martinez.
    ◾The meet saw horses win from gate-to-wire at times. Last Friday was a fun day to be a closer. The majority of the races seemed to be won from stalkers.
    ◾Los Alamitos should be proud of the fact that its surface has been getting very good reviews from so many in the industry.
    ◾Comparisons can't really be made about the on-track attendance numbers or even the handle numbers. Don't forget, at this time last year, Hollywood Park's final spring/summer meet was winding down, and many were showing up to visit the track one more time. Also, the Hollywood Gold Cup was run, and there was interest with Game On Dude looking to score a rare repeat in the marquee race. Los Alamitos is in this for the long haul, and this is a building process. The track should be commended for stepping up with stabling and helping the circuit as it has undergone a lot of changes. Let's see what happens in September and December and next year.

    A lot of notable events played out over the eight days of racing at Los Alamitos. What will the September meet hold?
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