The Bob Baffert trained West Coast leads a field of eight three-year-olds going in Saturday’s $200,000 Los Alamitos Derby (G3).
The Hall of Fame trainer has won this race six times since 2000. The race was formerly called the Swaps Stakes and was run at the now shuttered Hollywood Park.
The list of horses that have won this race include Free House, Precisionist, Thunder Gulch, Cat Thief, Congaree, Best Pal, Prized and Shared Belief. Last year’s winner was the John Sadler trained Accelerate.
West Coast is the 9-5 morning line favorite and looks tough if he runs back to his impressive victory in the Easy Goer at Belmont Park on June 10. Drayden Van Dyke takes over the riding duties from Mike Smith who was aboard for his Easy Goer win.
Sadler looks for back to back wins in this race with Cistron (7-2), who was third in the Penn Mile (G2) on turf in his last outing.
The Eric Kruljac trained Kimbear (4-1) is third choice on the morning line and stretches out from a runner up finish at six furlongs at Santa Anita against Alw-1 optional claimers.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who saddled 2014 winner Shared Belief and 2010 winner Skipshot sends out Colonist (9-2), who makes his stakes debut.
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Let’s head out to Los Alamitos for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Los Alamitos Race 7 The Los Alamitos Derby G3 Post time 4:58 PT
5 West Coast 9-5
6 Klimt 5-1
2 Cistron 7-2
3 Colonist 9-2
West Coast is sent out by the Bob Baffert barn that has won this race six times since 2000, most recently with Gimme Da Lute in 2015. Our top pick has landed in the exacta in all five of his starts and comes in here off a career top winning the Easy Goer at Belmont Park by 3 ¾ lengths. The fifth-place finisher in that race was Tale of Silence, who came back to run second and earn a 98 Beyer in a runner up finish in the Dwyer (G3).
The Baffert trainee broke his maiden in his second career start and then just missed in the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland in his stakes debut, beaten a neck by Senior Investment. The $425,000 Keeneland purchase is out of the stakes winner Caressing ($955,988) who won the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). He just gets better with each outing and the extra ground here should suit him. He is going to get a perfect pace set up as there should be an honest early pace.
Klimt is making his first start since his eighth-place finish at 7-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). He went into that race off a win the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and a runner up finish in the Frontrunner (G1). He makes his first start here for the Sherman barn that takes over from Baffert. Decent works on the morning tab for a barn that is 20% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff.
Cistron is back on dirt after checking in third in the Penn Mile (G2) last out. Two of his three wins have been on turf but three back he won the Northern Spur on the main track at Oaklawn Park. Sadler is 21% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. His Northern Spur win was gate to wire but he likely takes a tracking role here.
WIN: West Coast to win at 8-5 or better.
EXACTA: 5,6 / 2,3,5,6
TRIFECTA: 5,6 / 2,3,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6
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