(Trainer Bob Baffert has Princess Noor ready for the G1 Starlet Stakes / Coady Photography)
From the Los Alamitos Media Team:
The Los Angeles County Fair Winter thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos will begin Friday, Dec. 4. Racing will be conducted Friday-Sunday (Dec. 4-6) this week and is scheduled for Thursday-Sunday (Dec. 10-13 and 17-20) the final two weeks. Post time will be 1 p.m on weekdays and 12:30 p.m. on weekends.
The LACF Winter meet will be highlighted by a pair of graded events for 2-year-olds – the Grade I, $300,000-guaranteed Starlet for fillies Saturday, Dec. 5 and the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Futurity Saturday, Dec. 19.
The Starlet is one of the races on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks’’ with the winner receiving 10 points towards a berth in the Kentucky Oaks April 30, 2021 at Churchill Downs.
Among the leading candidates for the Starlet are Astute, winner of her last two starts for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, and Princess Noor, who suffered her first career loss in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies after three wins, including successes in two Grade I events – the Del Mar Debutante and Chandelier at Santa Anita. Princess Noor is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who will be seeking his fourth consecutive Starlet win after victories by Dream Tree (2017), Chasing Yesterday (2018) and Bast (2019).
The Futurity is one of the events on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.’’ The winner earns 10 points towards a spot in the Kentucky Derby May 1, 2021.
Among the nominees to the Futurity are Classier, an impressive debut winner for Baffert Oct. 24, Del Mar Futurity runner-up Spielberg, Best Pal Stakes winner Weston and Hot Rod Charlie, second behind Essential Quality in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 6 at Keeneland.
Baffert has won all six renewals of the Futurity – Dortmund (2014), Mor Spirit (2015), Mastery (2016), McKinzie (2017), Improbable (2018) and Thousand Words (2019) – since the race was moved to Los Alamitos from Hollywood Park.
Baffert has won the Futurity, which was run in Inglewood from 1981-2013, a record 12 times.
Both the Futurity and the Starlet will be run at 1 1/16 miles.
The LACF Winter meet will also feature one other graded stakes – the Grade III, $100,000 Bayakoa. Restricted to fillies and mares (3-year-olds & up) at 1 1/16 miles, the Bayakoa will be run Sunday, Dec. 6.
Completing the stakes program are a pair of one-mile races for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California – the $100,000-guaranteed Soviet Problem for fillies and the $100,000-guaranteed King Glorious.
The Soviet Problem will be run Saturday, Dec. 12 while the King Glorious will be offered Sunday, Dec. 20.
Live racing will continue to be run with no spectators and only essential personnel allowed inside the facility to conduct the program.
The wagering menu includes the Pick Six – with the traditional 70/30 split and no jackpot provision – a pair of $1 Pick 4’s – races 2-5 and the final four races – as well as the popular Players’ Pick 5 – a 50-cent minimum wager with a reduced 14% takeout rate which is offered on the first five races.
Entries – which were taken Tuesday for the opening day program – were strong. A total of 85 horses were entered in eight races.
STATEMENT RE PARTICIPATION AT UPCOMING LOS ANGELES COUNTY FAIR MEET AT LOS ALAMITOS (“LOS AL MEET”)
Horses having been trained outside of Southern California coming to compete at the Los Al Meet must be placed in barns of Trainers presently having horses in Southern California and must be placed under the exclusive care of a Southern California Trainer and his/her personnel.
The CHRB has advised that when horses coming from outside of Southern California are entered to run at the Los Al Meet, the horse’s original Trainer will be considered for purposes of entry and in the racing program as the Trainer and the Trainer whose barn the horse is stabled will be reflected as the substituted trainer.
As to a Trainer having horses both in Southern California and at GGF, it is expected that such Trainer will self-quarantine in accordance with CDC Guidelines if he/she has been exposed to Covid-19. In any event, Trainers having been outside of Southern California during the month of November will be denied access to the Los Alamitos grounds in the absence of proof of a timely negative Covid-19 Test.
Jockeys and Valets who have not been riding/working at the Los Alamitos Quarter Horse Meet but have been working/riding in Southern California must present proof of a timely negative Covid-19 Test prior to participating/working at the Los Al Meet. Because of the existing circumstances, jockeys and valets at the Los Al Meet will be restricted to those who have been riding/working in Southern California.
Los Alamitos existing Protocols regarding Covid-19 will continue to be strictly enforced. Those on the Los Alamitos grounds must wear face masks and practice social distancing. Admission to the grounds will continue to be subject to temperature checks and a health screening.