Grade 1 Futurity, Starlet Headline Upcoming Los Alamitos Winter Meet

A pair of Grade I races for 2-year-olds and the return of the Grade II, $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes highlight the 2017 Winter meet at Los Alamitos.

The 12-day season will begin Thursday, Nov. 30 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 17.

Racing will be conducted on a Thursday-Sunday basis. Post time will be 1 p.m. on weekdays and 12:30 p.m. on weekends.

The $300,000 Starlet for fillies and the $300,000 Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity will be run Saturday, Dec. 9. Both races are at 1 1/16 miles and being offered at Los Alamitos for the fourth time. The two significant races were run previously at Hollywood Park (1981-2013).

Abel Tasman, who is favored to be named the champion 3-year-old filly of 2017, won the 2016 Starlet for trainer Simon Callaghan while Hall of Fame conditioner Bob Baffert earned his record ninth Futurity victory with Mastery last Dec. 10.

Baffert has won the first three runnings of the Futurity at Los Alamitos, capturing the 2014 renewal with Dortmund and scoring with Mor Spirit in 2015.

The Bayakoa, which is for fillies and mares (3-year-olds & up) at 1 1/16 miles, will be run at Los Alamitos for the first time since 2014.

Named in honor of the multiple-graded stakes winning mare owned by Frank and Janis Whitham and trained by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, the Bayakoa wasn’t offered in 2015 and was run at Del Mar a year ago. It will be run Sunday, Dec. 3.

There will be two other stakes during the three-week season. Both are at one mile and for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California. The $100,000-guaranteed Soviet Problem for fillies will be run Saturday, Dec. 2 while the $100,000 King Glorious for colts & geldings will be contested Saturday, Dec. 16.

There will be a 2018 wall calendar giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last – Sunday, Dec. 17.

Los Alamitos will also have various giveaways and handicapping contests with cash prizes at different satellite wagering locations during the Winter meet. The first two promotional visits will be at Santa Clarita Bowling Lanes Dec. 2 and the Hollywood Park Casino Dec. 3.

A live money handicapping contest will be offered Dec. 9 with the top three finishers earning a spot in the 2018 National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

Track gates – including the Clubhouse and Vessels Club – will open at 9:30 a.m. General parking is free with grandstand admission $3 – $2 for seniors 62 and older.

The wagering menu includes the $2 Pick Six, a pair of Pick 4’s – races 2-5 and the final four – as well as the extremely popular Players’ Pick 5 – a 50-cent minimum wager with a reduced 14% takeout rate – on the first five races. The Pick Six will have the standard 70-30 split with 70% of the pool going to those tickets with six winners and the remaining 30% going to tickets with five of six winners.

Entries for the opening day card will be taken Monday, Nov. 27.

The post Grade 1 Futurity, Starlet Headline Upcoming Los Alamitos Winter Meet appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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