Shades of Victory, who scored an 80-1 upset in the 2018 E.B. Johnston Stakes, will try for a repeat in the $75,000 race Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Restricted to 3-year-olds & up bred or sired in California, the one-mile Johnston is part of a stakes doubleheader on the second day of the Los Angeles County Fair meet. Six 3-year-old fillies will get together in the $75,000 Beverly J. Lewis at six furlongs.
The Lewis is the fifth of nine races while the Johnston will go as the eighth. Post time Saturday is 1 p.m.
Owned by trainer Reed Saldana, Shades of Victory led throughout in last year’s Johnston, holding off B Squared by a head with Edwards Going Left another head back in third.
A son of Thorn Song and the Street Sense mare Sensible Girl, the 5-year-old gelding is winless in seven subsequent starts, most recently trailing in the grassy Green Flash Handicap Aug. 17. He’s earned $150,170 while winning five of 25.
Shades of Victory will try to become the second horse to go back-to-back in the Johnston at Los Alamitos. The now-retired Soi Phet won the race in 2016 and 2017.
Queen Bee to You will try for her second stakes win over males at Los Alamitos this year for trainer Andrew Lerner.
Owned by Christopher St. Hilaire and Adam Vali, the 5-year-old daughter of Old Topper and the Touch Gold mare Silk Queen cashed in the Bertrando Stakes at today’s distance during the Summer Thoroughbred Festival. She’s banked $410,770 while winning five of 28.
Cruel Intention will try two turns for the first time in his career for a partnership that includes Jungle Racing LLC, LNJ Foxwoods and Nexus Racing Club hoping to earn his initial win of 2019.
A beaten favorite in his three starts as a 3-year-old, the Smiling Tiger colt out of the Pleasantly Perfect mare Perfect Feat is 2=for-5 with earnings of $173,210 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Another 3-year-old trying a route of ground for the first time on dirt is Oliver.
An easy last out winner Aug. 17 for William R. Peeples and trainer Doug O’Neill, the Papa Clem colt out of the Premiership mare Snobby Princess has won three of 12 and earned $186,451. He was second in his lone start at Los Alamitos as a maiden July 4, 2018 when trained by Luis Mendez.
California Journey, trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer for breeder Dunns Down LLC, is 1-for-1 at Los Alamitos, having won an optional claimer as the 11-10 favorite July 7.
The 5-year-old Good Journey gelding out of the Abstract mare Callie Mae has won three of 16 and banked $158,470.
A 5-1 winner against $32,000 claimers at the Johnston distance Aug. 14, Fire When Ready will be aiming for his second victory at Los Alamitos.
Owned by Ron Paolucci Racing LLC and trained by Bob Hess, Jr., the 4-year-old Empire Way gelding out of the Slewdledo mare Armed N Dangerous has won four of 12 and earned $150,416. He collected his local score in his second career start Dec. 17, 2017 when trained by Patricia Harrington.
Smokey Image will be hoping to end an extended losing streak as he goes turf to dirt for Irvin Racing Stable and trainer Carla Gaines.
The 6-year-old Southern Image gelding out of the Free House mare Special Smoke is 6-for-22 lifetime with a bankroll of $541,297, but his last victory came Jan. 30, 2016 in the California Cup Derby.
In two races this year, Smokey Image has finished fourth of six in the Thors Echo June 15, then was 10th of 11 in the California Dreamin’ July 26.
Tule Fog, who was defeated by a nose by Queen Bee to You in the Bertrando, will be seeking his first victory of 2019 for Carolyn Sherry and Sierra Stables, Inc. and trainer Javier Sierra.
The 5-year-old Surf Cat horse out of the Free House mare Teardownthewall is 3-for-19 with earnings of $195,718. All three of his wins have come on turf.
The field, from inside out, for the E.B. Johnston Stakes: Cruel Intention, Evin Roman rides, 124 pounds; Queen Bee to You, Ruben Fuentes, 121l; Tule Fog, Tiago Pereira, 122; Shades of Victory, Edwin Maldonado, 124; Smokey Image, Mike Smith, 124; Fire When Ready, Abel Cedillo, 122; Oliver, Martin Garcia, 122 and California Journey, Geovanni Franco, 122.
Baffert entered a pair – Flor de La Mar and Message – in search of his first local win in the Lewis.
Owned by Godolphin LLC, Flor de La Mar, a daughter of Tiznow and the Pulpit mare Sacristy, has been idle since finishing last of five in the Grade II Summertime Oaks May 26 at Santa Anita.
The $500,000 yearling purchase is proven fresh, having won her debut by five lengths Jan. 20. She is 1-for-5 with earnings of $130,640. She was runner-up behind Bellafina in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks April 6.
A Warrior’s Reward filly out of the Carson City mare Song ‘n Dance, Message will be trying to rebound off a poor performance as the favorite in her last outing Aug. 3.
Owned by Baoma Corporation, Message finished eighth of 10 six weeks after a 4 ¼ length maiden victory June 22 in her first start of the year. She has earned $39,696 in three races.
Madame Vestal will seek a repeat after scoring a 16-1 surprise in her 3-year-old debut in the same race Message exits.
Owned by a partnership that includes Frank Lewkowitz, Tom Lawless, John Sondereker and trainer Eric Kruljac, the Into Mischief filly out of the Gone West mare Classic West has won half of her four starts and banked $88,400.
Trainer Richard Baltas, who won the 2018 Lewis with Gas Station Sushi, entered Motion Emotion for Mark DeDomenico LLC, Abbondanza Racing LLC and Medallion Racing.
A Take Charge Indy filly out of the Smart Strike mare Golden Motion, Motion Emotion has been sidelined since finishing eighth – via disqualification – in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Formerly trained by Thomas Van Berg, Motion Emotion has won twice in seven starts and earned $250,845. She was runner-up in a pair of Grade III contests at Oaklawn Park – the Honeybee and Fantasy – earlier this year.
Andyoushallreceive returns to the scene of her lone win for Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Brian Koriner after finishing third of seven behind repeater Stylishly on turf Aug. 16 in her first race of 2019.
A daughter of Fed Biz and the Yes It’s True mare You Asked, Andyoushallreceive defeated Madame Vestal and three others in her career debut last Sept. 22. She has earned $40,980 in three appearances.
Nomizar will step up in class looking for her second win in six days for McShane Racing LLC and O’Neill. The Tapizar filly out of the Milwaukee Brew mare Forbidden Crew comes off a 4 ¼ length decision over $25,000 claimers Sept. 1.
The victory was the second in seven starts for Nomizar and increased her bankroll to $70,482.
The field, from inside out, for the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes: Message, Evin Roman rides, 118 pounds; Flor de La Mar, Mike Smith, 120; Madame Vestal, Geovanni Franco, 120; Nomizar, Martin Garcia, 118; Andyoushallreceive, Tiago Pereira, 118 and Motion Emotion, Abel Cedillo, 122.
This article was released by the Los Alamitos Race Course.