Los Alamitos Derby highlights California track's 12-day meet

Los Alamitos Derby highlights California track's 12-day meet
Photo: Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire

Three stakes – including a pair a graded races – highlight the 2018 Summer Thoroughbred Festival at Los Alamitos.
The 12-day season will begin Thursday, June 28 and continue through Sunday, July 15. Racing will be conducted – with one exception – on a Thursday-Sunday basis. There will be a special holiday program on Wednesday, July 4. A dark day will follow (Thursday, July 5) before racing resumes Friday, July 6. Post time will be 1 p.m.

The final two Saturdays of the meet will feature the Grade 2, $200,000-guaranteed Great Lady M. Stakes and the Grade 3, $150,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Derby.

The Great Lady M., which is for fillies and mares – 3-year-olds & up – at 6 ½ furlongs, will be offered Saturday, July 7, and is expected to attract defending champion Skye Diamonds.

Won by eventual 3-year-old champion West Coast in 2017, the Los Alamitos Derby, which is for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, will be run Saturday, July 14.

The other stakes race that will be offered during the meet is the $100,000 Bertrando for older California-breds at one mile. The fifth renewal will be run Wednesday, July 4. The field is likely to include Soi Phet, a 10-year-old who has won four stakes at Los Alamitos, including the inaugural Bertrando in 2014. 

The wagering menu has been altered slightly as the minimum for the Pick 4 – which is offered daily on races 2-5 and the final four races – is now $1. This change from the previous minimum of 50 cents makes it uniform with the nighttime quarter horse programs where pools have soared in recent months.

The Late Pick 4 handled a record $203,647 June 10, one night after the Early Pick 4 pool was $229,207, the second largest in Los Alamitos history. A total of $1,088,412 was wagered on the Early and Late Pick 4’s the weekend of May 18-20.

The menu also includes the $2 Pick 6 as well as the extremely popular Players’ Pick 5 – a 50-cent minimum bet with a reduced takeout rate of 14% rate – on the first five races.

The Pick Six will have the standard 70-30 split with 70% of the pool going to those tickets with six winners with the remaining 30% going to tickets with five of six winners.

Entries for opening day will be taken Monday, June 25.

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