Ed Allred’s Up And Atem (photo), a two-time Grade I futurity finalist last year, will make his 2020 debut when he faces five ultra-quick rivals in the featured $11,825 allowance event at 110 yards on Friday at Los Alamitos. Eight races are on tap with first post set for 6 p.m.
After running fourth to Runforyourlife in the Grade I Golden State Million Futurity, Up And Atem finished second to Sacred Nation in a trial to the Grade I Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. The Favorite Cartel gelding was fast enough to advance to the $1.9 million final but was never a threat to Cartel Jess Rockin in the final. To be ridden by Vinnie Bednar for trainer Scott Willoughby, Up And Atem will enter this race after a sharp 350-yard gate drill in :17.90 on April 21.
Roque Gonzalez’s Spirit Foose, fourth in the 110-yard Blink Of An Eye Handicap and second in an allowance test at this distance in his most recent start, is one of the other top contenders in this race. Unique Ways, who defeated Spirit Foose at this distance, and the razor-sharp Secretary Of Defense also figure to challenge.
Twenty-four babies have been evenly distributed in three races at 300 yards on Friday. Oscar Peinado, who leads the meet with 13 wins aboard 2-year-olds, will pilot the juveniles Three Times Ablaze (fifth race), Coopers Best Card (sixth race) and J Best Boogie (seventh race). Diva This and Garda Cash, both runners-up in their career debuts, will also race on Friday night. The racing program will also feature 30 horses entered in the Early Pick Four races, a sequence that will include a pair of 1,000-yard events.