After beginning her career with two races on turf, Kookie Gal made a successful transition to dirt, easily winning the $100,000 Soviet Problem Stakes Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Owned by breeders Gary Barber and Wachtel Stable and trained by Peter Miller, the 2-year-old daughter of Boisterous relaxed off the pace under jockey Flavien Prat, then took charge in the stretch to score by four lengths.
The even-money favorite against five other California bred or sired fillies, Kookie Gal completed the one mile in 1:37.18 while winning for the second time. She’s earned $89,000.
Racing without the blinkers worn in grass affairs at Santa Anita and Del Mar, the dark bay filly paid $4, $2.60 and $2.10.
Hotitude, the 5-2 second choice who battled most of the way with the Miller-trained Creative Instinct on the pace, returned $3 and $2.20. Creative Instinct, who was a half-length back in third AS THE 3-1 third choice, paid $2.40 to show.
All Tea All Shade, Gotta Be Lucky and Time for Suzzie completed the order of finish.
‘’It set up like we thought it would,’’ said Ruben Alvarado, Miller’s assistant trainer. “We knew our other filly (Creative Instinct) would be up near the lead and we thought (Kookie Gal) would be a few lengths behind.
“I think having the blinkers off really helped her. She was training well at Del Mar, so we decided to try her on dirt and that maybe we would get lucky.’’
Prat, who has ridden Kookie Gal in each of her outings, thought the equipment change was wise.
“(Miller) made the right decision to take the blinkers off today,’’ he said. “She relaxed perfectly and then gave me a real good kick in the stretch.’’
Heading into the final day of the Winter meet, Heriberto Figueroa leads the jockey standings. Figueroa, who was the co-leader with Assael Espinoza at the Summer Thoroughbred Festival and the champion at the Los Angeles County Fair season earlier in the year, has eight wins, two more than Geovanni Franco and Tyler Baze.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert and Doug O’Neill are tied atop the trainer standings with four wins apiece. Gary Sherlock, Brian Koriner and Miller are next with three victories.
Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
A Pick Six carryover of $39,345 awaits Sunday’s closing races of the Winter Meet
There will be a Pick Six carryover of $39,345 when racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos, the final day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet.
There is also a carryover in the Super High 5 of $8,273.
Since it is closing day, there will be mandatory payouts in the Pick Six as well as the Players’ Pick 5 and Super High 5.
The Pick Six begins in the fifth race Sunday. Post time is 12:30 p.m. and scheduled post time for the fifth 2:28 p.m.
The Super High 5, a $1 minimum wager, which requires a player to correctly identify the first five finishers, will be offered – as usual – in the final race. Scheduled post time for Sunday’s 10h is 4:58 p.m.
The article above was released by Los Alamitos Race Course.