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Los Angeles County Fair Winter Meet begins Friday at Los Alamitos Race Course

The Los Angeles County Fair Winter thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos will begin Friday, Dec. 4.

Racing will be conducted Friday-Sunday (Dec. 4-6) this week and is scheduled for Thursday-Sunday (Dec. 10-13 and 17-20) the final two weeks. Post time will be 1 p.m on weekdays and 12:30 p.m. on weekends.

The LACF Winter meet will be highlighted by a pair of graded events for 2-year-olds – the Grade I, $300,000-guaranteed Starlet for fillies Saturday, Dec. 5 and the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Futurity Saturday, Dec. 19.

The Starlet is one of the races on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks’’ with the winner receiving 10 points towards a berth in the Kentucky Oaks April 30, 2021 at Churchill Downs.

Among the leading candidates for the Starlet are Astute, winner of her last two starts for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, and Princess Noor, who suffered her first career loss in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies after three wins, including successes in two Grade I events – the Del Mar Debutante and Chandelier at Santa Anita. Princess Noor is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who will be seeking his fourth consecutive Starlet win after victories by Dream Tree (2017), Chasing Yesterday (2018) and Bast (2019).

The Futurity is one of the events on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby.’’ The winner earns 10 points towards a spot in the Kentucky Derby May 1, 2021.

Among the nominees to the Futurity are Classier, an impressive debut winner for Baffert Oct. 24, Del Mar Futurity runner-up Spielberg, Best Pal Stakes winner Weston and Hot Rod Charlie, second behind Essential Quality in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 6 at Keeneland.

Baffert has won all six renewals of the Futurity – Dortmund (2014), Mor Spirit (2015), Mastery (2016), McKinzie (2017), Improbable (2018) and Thousand Words (2019) – since the race was moved to Los Alamitos from Hollywood Park.

Baffert has won the Futurity, which was run in Inglewood from 1981-2013, a record 12 times.

Both the Futurity and the Starlet will be run at 1 1/16 miles.

The LACF Winter meet will also feature one other graded stakes – the Grade III, $100,000 Bayakoa. Restricted to fillies and mares (3-year-olds & up) at 1 1/16 miles, the Bayakoa will be run Sunday, Dec. 6.

Completing the stakes program are a pair of one-mile races for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California – the $100,000-guaranteed Soviet Problem for fillies and the $100,000-guaranteed King Glorious.

The Soviet Problem will be run Saturday, Dec. 12 while the King Glorious will be offered Sunday, Dec. 20.

Live racing will continue to be run with no spectators and only essential personnel allowed inside the facility to conduct the program.

The wagering menu includes the Pick Six – with the traditional 70/30 split and no jackpot provision – a pair of $1 Pick 4’s – races 2-5 and the final four races – as well as the popular Players’ Pick 5 – a 50-cent minimum wager with a reduced 14% takeout rate which is offered on the first five races.

Entries – which were taken Tuesday for the opening day program – were strong. A total of 85 horses were entered in eight races.

This article was released by Los Alamitos Race Course.