Los Alamitos’ Summer Thoroughbred Festival Kicks Off Thursday

The first thoroughbred meet of 2018 at Los Alamitos will begin Thursday, June 28. The 12-day Summer Thoroughbred Festival will continue through Sunday, July 15 with racing – with one exception – conducted on a ThursdaySunday basis. There will be holiday racing Wednesday, July 4 prior to a dark day Thursday, July 5. Racing will resume Friday, July 6. Post time will be 1 p.m.

The three-week season will be highlighted by a pair of graded stakes races – the Grade II, $200,000 Great Lady M. for fillies and mares (3-year-olds & up) at 6 ½ furlongs and the Grade III, $150,000 Los Alamitos Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.

Expected to attract defending champion Skye Diamonds, the Great Lady M. will be run for the fifth time Saturday, July 7 while the Los Alamitos Derby, which was captured by eventual 3-year-old champion West Coast in 2017, will be offered Saturday, July 14.

Completing the stakes program is the $100,000 Bertrando Stakes for 3-year-olds & up bred or sired in California.

Run at one mile, the Bertrando, which will be run July 4, is expected to lure 2014 winner Soi Phet. A 10-year-old gelding trained by Leonard Powell for a partnership, the son of Tizbud is a four-time stakes winner at Los Alamitos.

The wagering menu includes the Pick Six, a pair of Pick 4’s – races 2-5 and the final four races – as well as the extremely popular Players’ Pick 5 – a 50-cent minimum wager with a reduced 14% takeout rate which is offered on the first five races.

The Pick 4 is now a $1 minimum bet, making it uniform with the nighttime quarter horse programs.

In addition to the Bertrando, the July 4 program will feature a live money handicapping contest with as many as three seats available to the 2019 National  Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. There will be a second live money contest Saturday, July 14.

The opening day feature – the seventh of eight races – is a $45,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares (3-year-olds & up).

Six were entered in the race at 5 ½ furlongs, including Los Alamitos graduate Highland Lass.

Trained by John Sadler for breeder Michael Talla, the 3-year-old Quality Road filly was a first out winner locally, scoring lastDec. 1.

Out of the Hennessy mare Stockings, Highland Lass was fourth in her most recent start, finishing behind Kimberlea K and Newport Breeze, two of her Thursday opponents.

An Indian Evening filly out of the Pure Prize mare No Better Terms owned by breeder K M N Racing LLC and trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Kimberlea K was runner-up behind Best of Me in her first race in more than 10 months June 7.

No worse than second in four starts, including consecutive victories to begin her career at Golden Gate Fields and Pleasanton last year, Kimberlea K finished a head in front of Newport Breeze, who was 1 ½ lengths better than Highland Lass nearly three weeks ago.

From inside out, the field for Thursday’s feature: Newport Breeze, Joe Talamo rides, 120 pounds; Cioppino Pasadino, Stewart Elliott, 124; Highland Lass, Tyler Baze, 120; Love a Honeybadger, Tiago Pereira, 124; Silken Spy, Geovannni Franco, 120 and Kimberlea K, Drayden Van Dyke, 120.

The post Los Alamitos’ Summer Thoroughbred Festival Kicks Off Thursday appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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