Diva in Charge scores upset, other news out of Los Alamitos Race Course

Diva in Charge goes back-to-back with 7-1 upset in Sunday feature

Diva in Charge has found a home routing on dirt, winning her second in a row in the $47,620 feature Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Trained by Peter Eurton for a partnership, the 4-year-old Will Take Charge followed her 12 ¼ length romp against $20,000 maidens May 22 at Santa Anita with a 1 ½ length victory over pacesetter and 16-1 shot Miss Tokyo in the optional claimer for older fillies and mares.

Never far off the pace while in the clear under jockey Edwin Maldonado, Diva in Charge, the 7-1 fourth choice in the field of seven, took over inside the final sixteenth to win in 1:36.76 for the mile.

Purchased for $105,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2017, Diva in Charge is now 2-for-5 with earnings of $40,655.

Out of the Smart Strike mare Sweetest Strike, Diva in Charge paid $17, $7 and $4.20. Miss Tokyo, who was making her first start since defeating maidens on turf March 21, returned $12.80 and $6.60 while the show price on Tiz Wonderfully, who had a three race victory streak ended, was $3.80.

Completing the order of finish were Eternal Endeavour, Paige Runner, Kookie Gal, the 3-2 favorite, and Brahms Command. Charmingslew was scratched Sunday morning.

The wealth was definitely spread among trainers during the first three days of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival. There were 26 races run June 26-28 and they were won by 25 different trainers. The only conditioner to double was Steve Miyadi.

Racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 1 p.m.

Cezanne, a $3.65 million purchase as a 2-year-old, will make his first start against winners in the fifth race – an optional claimer at one mile.

Flavien Prat will ride the 3-year-old Curlin colt for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and a partnership that includes Michael Tabor, Michael B. Smith, Elias Stable and Mrs. John Magnier. Cezanne broke his maiden at first asking June 6 at Santa Anita.

Pick Six carryover ($25,456) and Super High Five carryover ($34,698) Thursday

There will be a Pick Six carryover of $25,456 and a Super High Five carryover of $34,698 when racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos.

The Pick Six carryover was clinched when Mongolian Wind scored an $82.20 shocker in Sunday’s ninth race.

The Pick Six begins in Thursday’s second race. Post time is 1 p.m. and scheduled post time for the second is 1:28 p.m.

The Super High Five carried over for the third consecutive day. The $1 minimum wager, which is offered daily on the day’s final race, will be available in Thursday’s seventh, which has a scheduled post time of 3:58 p.m.

Bellafina among 13 nominated to Great Lady M. Stakes; Baffert nominates four to Grade III Los Alamitos Derby

Multiple graded stakes winner Bellafina heads the nominations for the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Great Lady M. Stakes while Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has four nominees to the Grade III, $150,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Derby.

The two races will be run for the seventh time at Los Alamitos Saturday, July 4.

Owned by Kaleem Shah and Mrs. John Magnier and trained by Simon Callaghan, Bellafina, a 4-year-old Quality Road filly out of the Malibu Moon mare Akron Moon, has earned all seven of her wins in graded stakes. She’s banked $1,512,875 in 15 starts. Her successes include the Sorrento (GII), Del Mar Debutante (GI) and Chandlier (GI) in 2018, Santa Ynez (GII), Las Virgenes (GII) and Santa Anita Oaks (GI) in 2019 and the Desert Stormer (GIII) last month at Santa Anita.

The Great Lady M. will mark Bellafina’s first start at Los Alamitos since she was second in her career debut July 4, 2018.

The other nominees are Lady T N T, idle since her 37-1 upset in the Grade III Charles Town Oaks last Sept. 21, Zusha, Artistic Diva, Amuse, Ava’s Charm, Donut Girl, Hang a Star, Message, Road Rager, Saints Paynter, Sneaking Out and Unique Factor.

Baffert, who has won the Los Alamitos Derby the last three years with West Coast (2017), Once on Whiskey (2018) and Game Winner (2019), nominated Azul Coast, a first out winner at Los Alamitos last Dec. 8, Cezanne, who is entered in Thursday’s fifth race, Thousand Words, a neck winner of the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity last Dec. 7, and impressive debut winner Uncle Chuck.

The Derby is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby’’ this year. The winner of the race will receive 20 points towards a berth in the Derby, which will be run Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs. There will also be eight points awarded to the runner-up, four to the third place finisher and two to the fourth place finisher.

The other Los Alamitos Derby nominees are Great Power, Rushie, third behind Honor A.P. and Authentic in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby June 6, Anneau d’Or, fourth in the SA Derby and second in last year’s Los Alamitos Futurity, the maiden Cosmo, Hit the Road and the filly Stela Star.

Entries for both the Great Lady M. Stakes and the Los Alamitos Derby will be taken Wednesday, July 1.

Favored Galilean rolls to easy victory in Soi Phet Stakes

A stretch to two turns and a return to Los Alamitos proved the winning moves for Galilean as he rolled to an easy victory in the $101,500 Soi Phet Stakes Saturday.

Trained by John Sadler for West Point Thoroughbreds, Denise Barker, William Sandbrook, John Magnier, Michael B. Tabor and Derrick Smith, the 4-year-old stalked the early pace from his outside post, then powered away in the final quarter of a mile to win by four lengths under jockey Juan Hernandez.

The score in 1:35.49 for the mile was the first for the son of Uncle Mo and the El Prado mare Fresia since he captured the California Cup Derby Feb. 18, 2019 at Santa Anita when trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer.

He’s now 4-for-9 lifetime with earnings of $442,948. Three of those victories – in as many starts – have come at Los Alamitos. Galilean captured the Barretts Juvenile in his career debut here Sept. 22, 2018, then won the King Glorious – at the Soi Phet distance – by nine lengths nearly three months later.

The even-money favorite against seven other horses bred or sired in California, Galilean paid $4, $3.40 and $3.

Grinning Tiger, fresh off a 92-1 upset in the Crystal Water Stakes on turf three weeks earlier, finished a head in front of 18-1 outsider Brandothebartender to complete the exacta. Dismissed at 12-1 Saturday, Grinning Tiger returned $8.20 and $5 while the show price on Brandothebartender was $4.60.

Completing the order of finish were Loud Mouth, King Abner, the 5-2 second choice, pacesetter Take the One O One, Lymebyrd and Three Ay Em.

“I talked to (Sadler) this morning and he told me to try and sit just outside the speed,’’ said Hernandez after his first Los Alamitos stakes success. “This horse relaxed perfectly and I wanted to wait until the stretch to make a move and he exploded when I asked him. He was lugging in some, but I corrected him and he was very strong at the end.’’

Alex Bisono, an assistant to Sadler, thinks the stretch to eight furlongs was crucial for Galilean.

“I definitely think he’s a better two turn horse,’’ he said. “He likes this track. He was comfortable the whole way. I wish he had run a little bit straighter down the stretch, but he didn’t bother anybody because he was clear.’’

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 1 p.m.

These articles were released by Los Alamitos Race Course.