Friday, December 7, 2018

Los Alamitos Futurity Stakes Racing Roundup


©2018 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to California this Saturday where Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert will send IMPROBABLE to the starting gate as the 6-5 morning line favorite in the $300,000 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos Race Course. Post time is 5:28 p.m. ET.
Baffert has won the Futurity a record 10 times and, since 2014, he’s won the last four editions of this race.
Undefeated in two starts, Improbable comes into this race off a win in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs on November 2. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

IMPROBABLE chased the pace early, made a bid three wide nearing the lane, took over command in the stretch then drew off late under a brisk drive.

Improbable stalked the leaders to the far turn then drew off to win his stakes debut by an impressive 7¼ lengths.
City Zip, the sire of Improbable, ran mostly in sprint races, compiling a 9-5-4 record in 31 starts with $818,225 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, City Zip won the Tremont Stakes (G3), Sanford Stakes (G2), Saratoga Special (G2) and the Hopeful Stakes (G1). However, as a three year old on the 2001 Kentucky Derby Trail, his best finish was a third place to Songandaprayer in the 8½-furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G1).
Despite his propensity for sprinting, at stud City Zip has sired his share of numerous, good, sprinters as well as several middle-distance runners such as Acting Zippy, Dayatthespa, With a City and Personal Diary.
Improbable has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and that makes him competitive in this race.
A long shot I like is KING OF SPEED (15-1). He comes into this race with a 2-1-1 record in seven starts for trainer Jeff Bonde including a twelfth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

KING OF SPEED saved ground off the pace, was under a ride past the three eighths and came up empty.

King of Speed wasn’t a factor in this race and he may have not liked the yielding turf course. In his previous turf race he won the one-mile Zuma Beach stakes in the racehorse time of 1:34.35. Here’s the video.
Jimmy Creed, the sire of King of Speed, was a multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 4-2-2 record in 10 starts with $439,250 in career earnings.
He finished second in his maiden debut as a three-year-old and went on to compile a 3-2-1 record in seven starts with a win in the Malibu Stakes (G1), a second-place finish in the El Cajon Stakes and a third-place finish in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (G1).
At the age of four, Jimmy Creed was 1-0-1 in three starts with a win in the Potrero Grande Stakes (G2) and a third-place finish in the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1).
King of Speed has an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he’s the best-bred colt in this small herd of runners. He has the breeding to win this race and upset at nice price.
Only time will tell if King of Speed can step up in class to earn graded stakes honors.
Also undefeated in two starts for trainer Bob Baffert is MUCHO GUSTO (3-1). He comes into this race off a win in the Bob Hope Stakes (G3). Here’s the video and chart call:

MUCHO GUSTO a bit crowded at the start, had speed inside to set a pressured pace, inched away approaching the turn, fought back along the rail on the turn and in the stretch, inched away again under left-handed urging past mid-stretch and gamely prevailed.

Mucho Gusto took the lead at the start and led all the way, despite a challenge from two rivals in the stretch, to win his graded stakes debut by 1½ lengths.
Mucho Macho Man, the sire of Mucho Gusto, was a hearty, multiple graded stakes winner that raced for six seasons compiling a 9-5-6 record in 25 starts with $5,625,410 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, Much Macho Man was 1-3-1 in five starts with second-place finishes in both the Nashua Stakes (G2) and Remsen Stakes (G2).
At the age of three, Much Macho Man was 2-0-2 in seven starts with a win in the Risen Star Stakes (G3) and third-place finishes in both the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Kentucky Derby (1).
Mucho Macho Man was 3-2-1 in six starts as a four-year-old with wins in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes, Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) and Suburban Handicap (G2). He finished second in both the Woodward Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), and, he finished third in the Alysheba Stakes (G2).
As a five-year-old, Much Macho Man was 2-0-2 in five starts with wins in the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). He finished third in the Criminal Type Stakes and Whitney Invitational Handicap (G1).
Mucho Macho Man ran twice at the age of six, finishing first in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes and fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1).
Mucho Gusto has an E Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® but his Behavior Index makes him competitive in this race.
Honorable mention goes to Extra Hope (7-2).


*****

A total of 35 prep races comprise the USA Road to the Kentucky Derby. In addition, there are seven races on the European road and four races on the Japan road to Derby glory.


2018/2019 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Game Winner, 30, Bob Baffert, $1,460,000
2. Knicks Go, 18, Ben Colebrook, $656,085
3. Signalman, 18, Ken McPeek, $392,840
4. Complexity, 10, Chad Brown, $275,000
5. Maximus Mischief, 10, “Butch” Reid, Jr., $137,500
6. Cairo Cat, 10, Ken McPeek, $86,490
7. Gunmetal Gray, 4, Jerry Hollendorfer, $120,000
8. Code of Honor, 4, Shug McGaughey, $100,000
9. Network Effect, 4, Chad Brown, $90,000
10. Tight Ten, 4, Steve Asmussen, $67,900
11. Plus Que Parfait, 4, Brendan Walsh, $36,400
12. Call Paul, 2, Jason Servis, $194,000
13. Mr. Money, 2, Bret Calhoun, $100,000
14. Rowayton, 2, Jerry Hollendorfer, $96,000
15.+Standard Deviation, 2, Chad Brown, $50,000
16. Tax, 2, Danny Gargan, $30,000
17. Limonite, 2, Steve Asmussen, $18,200
18. Pole Sitter, 2, Brad Cox, $17,950
19. Sombeyay, 1, Todd Pletcher, $158,500
20. Tobacco Road, 1, Steve Asmussen, $63,400
          + = Horses picked as yearlings on our 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sales list.



EUROPEAN ROAD LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Royal Marine (IRE), 10, Saeed bin Suroor, $264,968
2. Magna Grecia (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $185,000
3. Mohawk (IRE), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $128,702
4. Japan (GB), 10, Aidan O’Brien, $75,316
5. Phoenix of Spain (IRE), 4, Charlie Hill, $157,944
6. Broome (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $140,871
7. Sydney Opera House (GB), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $40,956
8. Mount Everest (IRE), 4, Aidan O’Brien, $24,254
9. Anodor (FR), 2, Freddie Head, $99,215
10. Western Australian (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $43,084
11. Cape of Good Hope (IRE), 2, Aidan O’Brien, $41,515
12. Power of Now (IRE), 2, Michael O’Callaghan, $11,489
13. Boitron (FR), 1, Richard Hannon, $44,917
14. Victory Command, (IRE), 1, Mark Johnston, $35,108
15. Circus Maximus (IRE), 1, Aidan O’Brien, $24,368
16. Sovereign (IRE), 1, Aiden O’Brien, $5,106


JAPAN ROAD LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Earnings
1. f-Make Happy, 10, Koichi Shinkai, $153,066
2. Kingen (JPN), 4, Kunihide Matsuda, $97,867
3. Johaan (JPN), 2, Yasuyuki Takahashi, $72,900
4. Romantico (JPN), 1, Kazuo Fujisawa, $91,245

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