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Favorite Desmond Doss wears down longshot Tom’s Surprise to win Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course

Favored Desmond Doss rallied from off the pace to wear down Tom’s Surprise, the longest shot in the field at 27-1, to win the $100,000 Bertrando Stakes Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Owned by breeder Nick Alexander and trained by Steve Miyadi, the 5-year-old son of Grazen and the Malek mare Malley Girl prevailed by a half-length in the race restricted to 3-year-olds & up bred or sired in California.

Although Desmond Doss’ trip was not what Miyadi envisioned, the result was the right one for his connections and was the fifth win in 14 starts for the versatile gray. He’s won three of five on dirt and was second in his two defeats and is also a double winner on grass.

“I thought he would be where (Tom’s Surprise) the whole way,’’ said Miyadi, who also won Saturday’s first race in tandem with Alexander with Father O’Flaherty. “I think that was the plan coming out of the gate, but (jockey) Jose Valdivia (Jr., the rider on Tom’s Surprise) covered him up like you’re supposed to do.

“Fortunately for us this horse can handle both dirt and turf. I’d like to keep him on dirt, but the next on dirt against open company is tougher, especially at Del Mar. We’ll see about the ($150,000) California Dreamin’ (for state breds at 1 1/16 miles on turf July 25 at Del Mar).”

While Scary Fast Smile, who was stretching out after a pair of impressive sprint victories at Santa Anita, set the pace with Tom’s Surprise his closest pursuer, Desmond Doss and Cedillo saved the ground, but rallied widest of all to score in his Los Alamitos debut.

The victory increased his earnings to $289,091. He paid $5.20, $3.60 and $3.60 as the 8-5 choice while completing one mile in 1:36.80.

“We had to wait on the turn,’’ said Cedillo. “He’s a steady, steady type horse and once he got out for the stretch he went after the leader and got him.’’

Making his first start both on dirt and beyond six furlongs after winning four of nine on the Tapeta surface and grass at Golden Gate Fields, Tom’s Surprise returned $12 and $8.20 while finishing one length in front of 11-1 shot Luvluv. The show price on Luvluv was $5. Brandothebartender, the 17-10 second choice, and Scary Fast Smile completed the order of finish.

There was one winning ticket in the Pick Six. The return was $57,919.60.

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

Eight 3-year-olds nominated to the Grade III, $150,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Derby

Multiple Grade I winner Gamine heads 15 nominees to the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Great Lady M. Stakes while Hudson Ridge, fresh off consecutive turf victories – including the Cinema Stakes – is among eight 3-year-olds nominated to the Grade III, $150,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Derby.

The two races will be run for the eighth time at Los Alamitos. The Los Alamitos Derby will be offered Saturday, July 3 while the Great Lady M. will be contested Monday, July 5, the final day of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival.

Owned by Michael L. Peterson and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Gamine has won seven of eight starts, including Grade I tallies in 2020 in the Acorn at Belmont Park, the Test at Saratoga, the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland and the Derby City Distaff last month at Churchill Downs.

The 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief and the Kafwain mare Peggy Jane has banked $1,286,500.

Baffert, who has won the Great Lady M. three times at Los Alamitos – Fantastic Style (2015) and Marley’s Freedom (2018-2019) – also nominated recent impressive maiden winner Illumination and Qahira, who has won half of her 10 starts and earned $249,400 for Baoma Corporation.

A daughter of Cairo Prince and the Bates Motel mare Motel Lass, the 5-year-old mare owns a local victory. She won an optional claimer at Los Alamitos during the 2019 Summer Thoroughbred Festival.

The other nominees include Angelcents, Bella Vita, Candura, Dynasty of Her Own, Edgeway, Eyes Open, Five Pics Please, Miss Stormy D, Road Rager, Scotish Star and Stellar Sound.

Owned by Baffert’s wife Jill and Double L Racing, Hudson Ridge, an American Pharoah colt out of the Galileo mare Shell House earned his maiden win in the Cinema May 23, then returned 26 days later to win an optional claimer as the 9-5 favorite.

An earner of $112,940 in six starts, Hudson Ridge has raced only once on dirt, finishing fourth in a one mile maiden contest March 5.

Baffert’s other nominees to the Los Alamitos Derby, which he has won four times in a row and five of the last six, are Defunded, runner-up behind The Chosen Vron in the Affirmed June 13, and Classier, who was a distant third in that Grade III.

The other nominees are Ingest, It’s My House, Mr. Impossible, Back Ring Luck and Mucho Del Oro.

Entries for the Los Alamitos Derby will be taken Wednesday, June 30 while the Great Lady M. will be drawn Friday, July 2.

The article above was released by Los Alamitos Race Course.