10-Year-Old Soi Phet Bids For Repeat In E.B. Johnston At Los Alamitos

Two-time defending champion Soi Phet will seek his sixth stakes victory at Los Alamitos in the $75,000 E.B. Johnston Saturday.

The one-mile Johnston, which is for 3-year-olds & up bred or sired in California, is part of a stakes doubleheader on the third day of the Los Angeles County Fair meet. Seven 3-year-old fillies will get together in the $75,000 Beverly J. Lewis at six furlongs.

The Lewis is the eighth of nine races while the Johnston will go as the sixth. Post time Saturday is 1 p.m.

Owned by the Viskovich Family Trust, Mathilde Powell and Paul Viskovich and trained by Leonard Powell, Soi Phet won the Johnston by a half-length a year ago, the fourth of his local stakes successes. He added a fifth to his resume with a second score in the July 4 Bertrando, prevailing by a nose during the Summer Thoroughbred Festival to surpass $1 million in career earnings.

Claimed for $16,000 by his current connections more than five years ago, the 10-year-old Tizbud gelding out of the Siberian Summer mare Summer Jersey has won 15 of 60 and earned $1,021,364. He has been 1-2 in seven of nine starts at Los Alamitos.

Fourth in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby July 28 at Del Mar, Edwards Going Left will make his Los Alamitos debut and first start beyond seven furlongs in the Johnston.

Trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing LLC, the 4-year-old gelded son of Midnight Lute and the Broken Vow mare Dypsy has won seven of 13 and banked $447,390. All of his victories have come in 12 starts since being claimed for $50,000 out of his initial start Feb. 9, 2017.

B Squared, who was edged by Soi Phet in the Bertrando two months ago, returns to dirt after finishing fifth in the Grade II Del Mar Mile Aug. 19 for trainer Doug O’Neill. Owned by breeder J. Paul Reddam’s Reddam Racing LLC, the 4-year-old Square Eddie colt out of the Ten Most Wanted mare Silar Rules is 4-for-20 with earnings of $415,698.

Third in two previous starts at Los Alamitos, Grecian Fire also goes grass to dirt after finishing second behind Fly to Mars in the California Dreamin July 28. A son of Unusual Heat and the Kitten’s Joy mare Maddie’s Odyssey, the 4-year-old gelding has won three of 17 and banked $190,892. Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer trains Grecian Fire for K M N Racing LLC.

Third in the 2017 Johnston, El Huerfano will be seeking his first win as a 6-year-old Saturday. Trained by Peter Miller for Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable, the son of Tannersmyman and the Capsized mare Adriftinthebay is 5-for-34 with earnings of $358,141. Unplaced in an optional claimer won by eventual Shared Belief Stakes winner Tatters to Riches, Shades of Victory will be making his first appearance in a dirt route in the Johnston.

Owned by trainer Reed Saldana, the 4-year-old Thorn Song colt out of the Street Sense mare Sensible Girl has won four of 17 and earned $99,449. He is 1-for-4 for Saldana since being claimed for $12,500 April 7 at Golden Gate Fields.

Completing the field is Touched by Autism, who returns to Southern California after finishing last in the J.T. Grace Handicap Aug. 11 on the Santa Rosa turf. Trained by Marcia Stortz for Johnny Taboada, the 5-year-old Sierra Sunset horse has won seven of 25. Out of the Beau Genius mare Beau’s Gem, Touched by Autism has earned $217,765.

From inside out, the field for the E.B. Johnston Stakes: B Squared, Mario Gutierrez rides, 124 pounds; Shades of Victory, Stewart Elliott, 122; Edwards Going Left, Tyler Conner, 124; Touched by Autism, Tiago Pereira, 122; Soi Phet, Alonso Quinonez, 124; Grecian Fire, Geovanni Franco, 124 and El Huerfano, Evin Roman, 124.

Gas Station Sushi, who won the Grade III Beaumont April 8 at Keeneland, and Rayya, winner of the Group III UAE Oaks March 1, top a field of seven in the Lewis. Trained by Richard Baltas for a partnership that includes Riley Racing Stables LLC and Tiger Racing Stable, Gas Station Sushi, an Into Mischief filly out of the Five Star Day mare Five Star Daydream, has been idle since finishing third in the Grade II Eight Belles May 4 at Churchill Downs.

Purchased for $240,000 as a 2-year-old, Gas Station Sushi has won twice in three races and earned $145,600. She is proven fresh as she broke her maiden in her debut Aug. 6, 2017 at Del Mar.

Rayya, who is owned by Sheik Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, hasn’t been seen since finishing 13th of 14 in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks May 4 at Churchill Downs in her initial try for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. A Tiz Wonderful filly out of the Coronado’s Quest mare Spread, Rayya wasn’t worse than second in five starts in the United Arab Emirates. Before her victory in the UAE Oaks she defeated maidens by 9 ¾ lengths in her career debut last Dec. 7 at Meydan Race Course. She has banked $654,507.

Spiced Perfection will be seeking her second win in a row after capturing an optional claimer at the Lewis distance Aug. 24 at Del Mar. The daughter of Smiling Tiger and the Pleasantly Perfect mare Perfect Feat has won four of 11 and earned $372,985. Brian Koriner trains for Dare to Dream Stable LLC.

Koriner also entered Steph Being Steph, a Majestic Warrior filly out of the More Than Ready mare More Than Proud owned by Blinkers On Racing Stable, Richard Bennett, Evelyn Cahee and Janet Lyons. Steph Being Steph, who has won two of seven while earning $149,545, defeated maidens by 3 ¾ lengths in her second career start here last Sept. 8.

Best of Me, who was last seen chasing Marley’s Freedom in the Grade II Great Lady M. Stakes July 7, returns for Todd and Shawn Hansen and trainer Peter Miller.
The Super Saver filly out of the First Samurai mare has won twice in five starts and earned $84,705.

Wicked Storm has been away since winning an optional claimer by four lengths during the Summer Thoroughbred Festival. The Stormy Atlantic miss out of the Carson City mare Wicked Delight is 2-for-4 with earnings of $55,560 for owner-breeder George Krikorian and trainer Tim Yakteen.

Broome cuts back in distance after finishing a distant fourth when 54-1 in the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes Aug. 26.

Claimed for $20,000 two races ago by O’Neill for ERJ Racing LLC, Dave Kenney and Westside Racing Stable, the Bellamy Road filly out of the Closing Argument mare Midst has won twice in 11 races and earned $75,930.

From inside out, the field for the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes: Rayya, Joe Talamo rides, 122 pounds; Wicked Storm, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Broome, Evin Roman, 118; Best of Me, Martin Pedroza, 120, Gas Station Sushi, Mario Gutierrez, 122; Spiced Perfection, Tiago Pereira, 122 and Steph Being Steph, Stewart Elliott, 122.

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