Grade I winner Mirth switches to dirt in Bayakoa Stakes

A Grade I winner on turf earlier this year, Mirth will make a rare start on dirt in the $100,000-guaranteed Bayakoa Stakes Sunday at Los Alamitos.

A Grade III for fillies and mares (3-year-olds & up) at 1 1/16 miles, the Bayakoa will be run for the third time at Los Alamitos. It was first offered locally in 2014 and run again in 2017.

Prior to 2014, the Bayakoa, which was originally known as the Silver Belles Handicap, was contested at Hollywood Park.

Post time Sunday is 12:30 p.m. The Bayakoa is the eighth of nine races and has a scheduled post time of 3:58 p.m.

Trained by Phil D’Amato for Little Red Feather Racing, Mirth exits the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. She opened up a lengthy lead at 15-1, but weakened late to finish sixth, 5 ¾ lengths behind Iridessa.

This effort came after the 4-year-old daughter of Colonel John led throughout to win the Rodeo Drive at 1 ¼ miles Sept. 28 at Santa Anita.

The win was the fifth for Mirth, who is out of the French Deputy mare Di’s Delight. She’s banked $335,563 in 17 starts.

Only four of those races have come on dirt and she is seeking her first main track victory. Those outings came at the beginning of her career. She had a pair of on the board finishes, the most recent a distant second in a maiden race Aug. 23, 2017 at Delaware Park when trained by Bernard Houghton.

Owned by Hronis Racing LLC and trained by John Sadler, Lady Suebee returns to dirt after trailing in the restricted Swingtime Stakes on the Santa Anita turf Oct. 5.

The 4-year-old First Defence filly out of the Touch Gold mare Freeroll was a 5 ½ length winner of the Tranquility Lake Aug. 23 at Del Mar in her last main track start.

She’s won four of 17 overall and banked $299,202, but has been at her best on dirt. She’s 3-for-9 on the surface and has been worse than third only once.

Fresh off a blowout victory in the Betty Grable at seven furlongs Nov. 17, Queen Bee to You will see her second stakes win of the year at Los Alamitos for trainer Andrew Lerner.

The 5-year-old Old Topper mare defeated males in the one-mile Bertrando Stakes here June 29.

Owned by Christopher St. Hilaire and Adam Vali, Queen Bee to You, who is out of the Touch Gold mare Silk Queen, has won six of 31 and earned $478,770. The California bred has been 1-2 in four of six at Los Alamitos.

Lerner also entered Arctic Roll, who broke her maiden at Los Alamitos during the 2018 Winter meet.

Owned by Vindicate Racing, the 4-year-old Champs Elysees filly out of the Dr Fong mare Paquerettza is 1-for-11 with earnings of $46,597.

Trainer Peter Miller also has two entrants – Mo See Cal and Kim K.

Owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch and David A. Bernsen, Mo See Cal disappointed as the 7-10 favorite in the Betty Grable, finishing a distant third behind Queen Bee to You.

The gray daughter of Uncle Mo and the Lydgate mare Do Dat Blues, the 4-year-old has won five of 18 and earned $285,664.

A 3-year-old Will Take Charge filly out of the Trippi mare Trip for A.J., Kim K has won twice in eight races while earning $139,627 for Rockingham Ranch.

The $335,000 2-year-old purchase is a stakes winner at Los Alamitos. She broke her maiden in the restricted Barretts Debutante during the Los Angeles County Fair meet last year.

Mongolian Humor stretches out again in her return to California after finishing second in an optional claimer at 6 ½ furlongs Oct. 24 at Keeneland.

Owned by a partnership which includes EMT Stable LLC, Martin Mueller, Harry Pellman and William Scott and trained by Vladimir Cerin, the 4-year-old daughter of Drosselmeyer and the Giant’s Causeway mare Yesenia is 4-for-17 with a bankroll of $129,212.

Zusha, a 4-year-old Congrats filly out of the Storm Cat mare Icy Tea, has won twice in 16 starts and earned $142,893 for owner Rafael Steinbruch.

Idle since finishing a distant second in an optional claimer at one mile Oct. 10 in Arcadia, Zusha is trained by Gary Mandella, son of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who won the 2017 Bayakoa with Majestic Heat.

From inside out, the field for the Bayakoa Stakes: Arctic Roll, Assael Espinoza rides, 119 pounds; Mongolian Humor, Joe Talamo, 119; Mo See Cal, Drayden Van Dyke, 119; Mirth, Edwin Maldonado, 124; Lady Suebee, Tyler Baze, 119; Queen Bee to You, Ruben Fuentes, 119; Zusha, Tiago Pereira, 119 and Kim K, Abel Cedillo, 116.

This article was released by Los Alamitos Race Course.