The action on the Road to the Kentucky Derby heats up this weekend, as vital points will be up for grabs in the G2 Los Alamitos Futurity. This race is run over a distance of 1 1/16 miles, and a field of five runners have been declared.
Bob Baffert has trained the winner of this race on 13 previous occasions, and he has three live contenders for the contest this weekend. Last year, Slow Down Andy was the winner of the Los Alamitos Futurity for trainer Doug O’Neill.
(3) Fort Bragg- 9/4
Fort Bragg is one of the Baffert-trained runners in the race this weekend. This two-year-old will be the ride of Flavien Prat, and he comes into this race after winning once in three starts. He should come into this in good form, as he broke his maiden at the third attempt on his previous start.
That run came at Santa Anita over 1 1/16 miles, as he scored a speed rating of 86. However, his two runs prior to that victory were also relatively strong, which included a third on debut behind Speed Boat Beach and Hejazi over 5 ½ furlongs.
(4) Practical Move- 6/1
Practical Move is the likely party crasher for the Baffert trio this weekend, as this two-year-old comes into this contest with some solid form under his belt. On debut, he was beaten by the progressive Cave Rock, who recently finished second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, while he broke his maiden over a mile at Santa Anita in October, beating Fort Bragg.
On his latest start, he was back down in trip for the G3 Bob Hope, where he finished third behind Havnameltdown and Newgate. But, he is back up in distance this weekend, which gives him every chance. I’d be very surprised to see him start this race at 6/1.
(5) Arabian Lion- 10/11
The favorite for the Los Alamitos Futurity this weekend will be Arabian Lion for Bob Baffert and John Velazquez. This two-year-old already has a big reputation, as he was sired by Triple Crown hero Justify. He made a winning start to life on track in September, as he won over six furlongs with a mighty speed rating of 100.
However, I was pretty disappointed with his previous effort, as he wasn’t able to get the better of Giant Mischief on the undercard to the Breeders’ Cup action on the Friday. But, he remains a very prominent contender, and is likely to be the big market mover in the Kentucky Derby betting if he can get the victory.
Los Alamitos Futurity Pick: (2) Carmel Road
Races involving two-year-olds can often be tricky to judge, but I think there is definitely a value angle in this race with siding with Carmel Road. The G1 Claiborne Futurity was a bit of a disaster on his previous start, as he never got going. However, his form before that effort is very impressive.
The Baffert runner landed victory over a mile at Del Mar, and looks perfectly suited to this extra distance. That run scored a speed rating of 88, and that firmly puts him into the mix this weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arabian Lion win, but at the current prices, I’d be prepared to take him on.
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