Saturday's Los Alamitos program features two Grade 1, $300,000 events for juveniles: the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity for males and the Starlet for fillies. Both races are featured in the late pick four.
Trainer Bob Baffert will have the favorite in each race: Mastery in the Futurity and American Gal in the Starlet. If you're able to knock off either or both favorites, you could get a nice score. Here's a look at the sequence.
MASTERY figures to take the lion's share of the money, but I'm more interested in Baffert's other entrant, SHOW ME DA LUTE. He's a full brother to Tiz Midnight, a filly who won the Grade 2 Bayakoa at Los Al in 2014. Mastery certainly is the horse to beat, but he'll be trying two turns for the first time, and there's no guarantee that he'll relish the additional distance.
DIVINE SPARK ran a winning race at Del Mar on Nov. 20 and is strictly the horse to beat here. Her two Beyer Speed Figures are tops in this field, and she figures to be forwardly placed throughout. Of the first-time starters, ADIOS CALI looks intriguing. A daughter of Adios Charlie, this Peter Miller trainee cost $125,000 at the Barretts March sale this year, and it's always nice to see horses drill at a distance farther than the one they will be debuting at (note the six-furlong drill Nov. 30).
Race 8, STARLET
AMERICAN GAL is strictly the horse to beat following a brutal trip in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 5. This Baffert trainee was fanned to the 10 path entering the first turn before pulling her way up to the middle of the pack in the clear. That she finished third speaks volumes about her ability.
A much longer price to consider is MOPOTISM for Doug O'Neill. This daughter of Uncle Mo had an eventful trip in her most recent start at Del Mar, steadying behind runners on the far turn before rallying late inside. She galloped out with energy and gives the impression that additional distance will be her friend. At a giant price, she's worth using.
WE GO NOW stumbled badly out of the gate in his most recent start, and this race essentially becomes his first try against weaker company. GONZO sheds the blinkers in his second start, and it's interesting to note the uptick in this colt's workout times.
TICKET: 3, 4 / 2, 6 / 4, 7 / 2, 6