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Los Alamitos Action

Posted by on 9/1/2014 9:32:33 PM

With the change in the scenery of the racing in Southern California handicappers now can factor Los Alamitos into the mix.

The track was elongated to a mile before the short July meet. Los Al has now inherited the dates that used to belong to Fairplex and they will race from September 5 to September 21.

This has been quite a change for this track. Frank Vessels was the prime mover at Los Al. He came to California from Kentucky with $19 to his name but made a bundle in the construction business and parlayed that to buying a 435-acre ranch in 1947.

What started out modestly as just match races, turned into Los Alamitos Race Course in 1951.

A small but representative stakes schedule will be offered. It opens with $100,000 stakes for juveniles, followed by a pair of $75,000 stakes for the sophomore set.

The highlight of the meet will be the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile, which some could possibly used as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The last 3 stakes will all be $75,000 affairs for sprinters and distaffers routing.

Don’t expect the big guns to come firing for this meet but there should be plenty of opportunities for making money.

Draydon Van Dyke proved at the meeting in July that he can roll on this surface. He was the leading rider taking 12 of 31 starts for a whopping 39%.Joe Talamo and Elvis Trujillo were right there in the standings but this was a big leap for young rider Van Dyke.

One jockey that must be respected in any mounts he has at this meeting is Martin Pedroza. He was the absolute king of racing at Fairplex at Pomona and he has always been able to adapt to any racing surface. It helps that he is a ‘send’ rider and puts his horses into the race early and often.

Peter Miller’s runner did well at the July meet. Leonard Powell won with both of his starters, as did Kelly Castaneda and Ron Ellis won with 2 of his 5 starters and all of them were in the money.

Doug O’Neill sent out a lot of horses at the July meet but most of them were just prepping for Del Mar. Expect his stock to be more seriously placed this time around

Any of the runners that won at Los Al must be respected if they come right back. Watch the entries for Doinghardtimeagain, La Grange, Soi Phet, Story to Tell and Sky Kingdom.

As far as the racing style is concern, speed was king at the July meet despite the fact the stretch at Los Al is the longest in the country. If you didn’t have the ability to lead or be close up, you were at a definite disadvantage.

The fact that Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome thrived at Los Alamitos is something that must be respected. It goes to show that the surface is kind to horses and allows them to thrive without being overly taxed.

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