Los Alamitos Winter Thoroughbred Meet Stakes Schedule
Two Grade I juvenile stakes, the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity and the $350,000 Starlet, highlight the stakes schedule for the upcoming 2014 Los Alamitos winter thoroughbred season and Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas holds a very strong hand in both events with young runners who recently distinguished themselves at this year’s Breeders Cup World Championship.
Lukas, the only trainer inducted into both the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Hall of Fames, could be especially dangerous in The Starlet, a 1 mile and 1/16th event for 2-year-old fillies set for Saturday, December 13 at Los Alamitos, with his Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Take Charge Brandi. Currently nominated to The Starlet, Take Charge Brandi shocked the racing world on November 1 when she bounded home a winner at odds of 61-1 in the $2,000,000 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies.
A daughter of the leading sire Giant’s Causeway, Take Charge Brandi has now earned more than $1,170,000 in her career and a victory in The Starlet at Los Alamitos would earn the filly important points toward a starting berth in the 2015 G1 Kentucky Oaks to be run over Kentucky Derby weekend in Kentucky.
While The Starlet will certainly take center stage in the thoroughbred world on December 13, the biggest 2-year-old race of the upcoming winter season will be the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity. Set for the final Saturday of the 12-day winter season, the Los Alamitos Futurity is written for 2-year-olds at a distance of 1 1/16th miles and Lukas could once again wheel out a recent Breeders Cup standout in the race.
The Lukas-trained colt Mr. Z finished fifth in the $2,000,000 Breeders Cup Juvenile on November 1 at Santa Anita and the promising young runner is also one of the original nominees to the Los Alamitos Futurity. Mr. Z came into the Breeders Cup Juvenile with impressive credentials after finishing second in both the G1 Breeders Futurity at Keeneland and the G2 Saratoga Special this summer in New York.
Another Breeders Cup Juvenile participant who could be looking at the Los Alamitos Futurity is the Bob Baffert-trained colt One Lucky Dane. A son of Lookin At Lucky, One Lucky Dane was sixth in the Breeders Cup Juvenile and he is also an original nominee to the Los Alamitos Futurity.
The Los Alamitos Futurity carries important points toward a starting berth in the Kentucky Derby, another incentive for both Lukas and Baffert.
This upcoming Los Alamitos winter season will be a true showcase for the future stars of thoroughbred racing. Joining the Los Alamitos Futurity and The Starlet on the winter stakes schedule will be two major California-bred juvenile stakes, the $200,000 Soviet Problem on December 7 and the $200,000 King Glorious to be run on December 14 over the Los Alamitos one-mile oval.
Last year the King Glorious proved to be a real springboard for greatness when Kentucky Derby California Chrome used the event to score his second career stakes win.
Kicking off the Los Alamitos winter stakes calendar will be the $200,000 GII Bayakoa Stakes, a race for older fillies and mares set for a December 6 running.
The 2014 Los Alamitos winter thoroughbred season will open on Thursday, December 4 and will run through December 21 with racing every Thursday through Sunday afternoon. First post for the thoroughbred meeting will be 12:30 p.m. every racing day.