2019 Los Alamitos Futurity at a Glance

Eclipse Sportswire

There are not many Southern California Grade 1 or Grade 2 dirt stakes that have eluded the grasp of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. The Los Alamitos Futurity is definitely not one of them. The two-time Triple Crown winner not only has captured the stakes 11 times at Hollywood Park and now Los Alamitos, he’s won the last five editions of 1 1/16-mile test. Needless to say, he’s well-stocked to turn the winning streak into a six-pack with two main threats among the race's four entries.

Los Alamitos Futurity

Racetrack: Los Alamitos, Cypress, Calif.

Date: Dec. 7

Purse: $200,000

Distance: 1 1/16 miles

Race: 4

Post Time: 4:58 p.m. ET

Notable winners: Improbable (2018), McKinzie (2017), Shared Belief (2013), Looking At Lucky (2009), Pioneerof the Nile (2008), Point Given (2000), Captain Steve (1999), Real Quiet (1997), A.P. Indy (1991), Best Pal (1990), Snow Chief (1985)

First held: 1981

1. Anneau d’Or (9-5): He was second in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which is normally a feather in a 2-year-old’s cap. Yet he was 28-1 that day and the victorious Storm the Court was 45-1, raising questions about exactly what happened on that November afternoon. If he can duplicate his Breeders’ Cup effort, he’ll be a major threat. If he disappoints, it will raise even more questions about the quality of the horses who competed in the biggest stakes of the year for 2-year-olds. Although he trains on a synthetic surface and broke his maiden on turf, he has a great dirt pedigree and will be dangerous – unless the Juvenile was a fluke.

JOCKEY: Juan Hernandez  TRAINER: Blaine Wright

2. Wrecking Crew (7-2): He was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – at 39-1. A very consistent sort, he’s run four times – three times in Grade 1 or 2 stakes – and has not been worse than third. He only lost the Juvenile by a little more than three lengths and looms a major player, but the small field and the prospect of a leisurely pace may work against him.

JOCKEY: Abel Cedillo TRAINER: Peter Miller

3. Thousand Words (8-5): They paid a million dollars for him so you know he has the pedigree and looks to be a Grade 1 winner. He’s only raced once, and that was at 6 ½ furlongs. Yet Baffert makes expert use of workouts to get his horses ready, so the stretchout isn’t much of a worry. The key question seems to be which one of the two Baffert horses will be on the lead and that may ultimately decide the race.

JOCKEY: Flavien Prat TRAINER: Bob Baffert

4. High Velocity (5-2): Baffert has run him twice, the last time in the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar. Given that front-running win in 1:23.16 and the outside post, he seems the best candidate to be on the lead after the opening quarter-mile and that could make him tough to reel in against such a small field. His 5-2 morning-line price might not seem enticing, but in a four-horse field with a good chance to control the pace, it’s not bad.

JOCKEY: Drayden Van Dyke TRAINER: Bob Baffert

THE PICK: High Velocity

LIVE LONGSHOT: Wrecking Crew


newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!