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Bayakoa Handicap Betting – Yahilwa Ends 2014 On A High Note

Posted by on 12/4/2014 7:36:21 PM

The Bayakoa Handicap kicks off the winter schedule at Los Alamitos, which will host this Grade-2 race for the first time after it spent every year at Hollywood Park since 1981 (there was no race in 1987). With Hollywood Park now closed, Los Alamitos is the site of a race with a $200,000 purse, and it is for fillies and mares that are three years old and up. It is also run on a synthetic surface.

Late-year races generally don’t have strong fields and this is no exception, but it is always good to keep an eye on as you head into the next year. Yahilwa struggled as a three-year-old, but seems to be finding her legs as a four-year-old and this is the type of race that is right up her alley. She should wind up with a victory on Saturday, although there is one other horse that could give her a run for her money.

What: Horse Betting

When: Saturday, December 6th, post time TBA

Where: Los Alamitos, Cypress, CA

Pick: Yahilwa

Legacy needed seven tries to break her maiden, and finished sixth and eighth in a pair of graded-stakes crew this year. But she also won the Cypress Stakes and finished second at the Las Madrinas, a pair of non-graded races at Los Alamitos. This race might be out of her league, but maybe Legacy simply likes this racetrack. That being said, this four-year-old filly will need a few breaks to go her way, and have the race of her life to make it to the winner’s circle this weekend.

Oscar Party hasn’t run a graded-stakes race since January, in which he finished seventh at the Grade-2 La Canada. Since then, she has won an allowance race, she has three finishes of fourth or worst in four non-graded races and two fifth-place results in allowance events. This four-year-old filly won’t be considered an elite thoroughbred, and her last six races have been over a mile, so the distance could be a difference-maker down the stretch.

Tiz Midnight is one to watch despite needing four tries to break her maiden; she did finish in the top three in all four attempts, if that is any consolation. She won a pair of allowance races before finishing second at the Grade-1 Zenyatta, then she finished sixth at the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in a very good field. This four-year-old has seen some great competition and might rise to the occasion on Saturday in what could be a two-horse race between Tiz Midnight and the final female in this field.

Valiant Emilia is definitely a longshot as this five-year-old mare finished eighth at the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in her debut on American soil. There isn’t much to parse from when it comes to information on this horse, which is worrying as it means she hasn’t run in many high-level races hailing from Peru, so there shouldn’t be high expectations for Valiant Emilia, although nerves might have factored in at the Breeders’ Cup. You can never count those types of things out.

Warren’s Veneda finished third in this race in 2013, and she finished fourth at the Grade-3 Adoration Stakes in May, She has one runner-up finish in 2014, which came in the non-graded Osunitas Stakes in July, but she hasn’t had much work in bigger races, so it’s tough to get a handle on what her potential is in this field. This four-year-old filly definitely has the potential to win this race, but can she fulfill it on Saturday? This is a huge race for Warren’s Veneda going forward and a strong performance might land her in a few bigger races next year, especially early on in 2015.

Yahilwa rounds out the field and might be considered the favourite after winning two straight in an allowance race and the non-graded Treasure Chest. She also finished fourth at the Zenyatta and second at the Adoration, a pair of graded-stakes races with solid fields. This seems like a filly that has gotten stronger in her four-year-old campaign, and a win on Saturday would be a definite boost to her profile going into a fifth year. One worry is that she hasn’t run on a synthetic surface since her first two races when she was trying to break her maiden, and she finished seventh and ninth in those races, but this is a different horse now.

How It Will Play Out

Bayakoa Handicap Betting Pick: Yahilwa

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