Five stakes races – three of which are graded – highlight the 2021 Winter meet at Los Alamitos. The seven-day season will begin Friday, Dec. 3 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 12. Racing will be conducted Friday-Sunday the first week (Dec. 3-5) and Thursday-Sunday the final week (Dec. 9-12). Post time will be 1 p.m. on weekdays and 12:30 p.m. on weekends.
The Grade I, $300,000-guaranteed Starlet for fillies will be contested Saturday, Dec. 4 and the Grade II, $300,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Futurity will be run Saturday, Dec. 11. Both races are at 1 1/16 miles and being offered at Los Alamitos for the eighth time. The two significant races were run previously at Hollywood Park (1981-2013).
The purse for the Futurity has been increased $100,000 over last year, returning to the level of 2018. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won both the Starlet and Futurity for the fourth consecutive year in 2020, taking the former with 17-1 shot Varda and the latter with Spielberg. Baffert has won all seven runnings of the Futurity at Los Alamitos, taking the 2014 renewal with Dortmund, then scoring with Mor Spirit (2015), Mastery (2016), McKinzie (2017), Improbable (2018), and Thousand Words (2019) prior to Spielberg’s success.
The other graded stakes is the Grade III, $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes, which will be offered Sunday, Dec. 5. The race, won a year ago by Proud Emma, is at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares (3-year-olds & up).
The remaining two stakes are at one mile and for 2-year-olds bred or sired in California. The $100,000-guaranteed Soviet Problem for fillies – originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11 – will be run Friday, Dec. 10 while the $100,000 King Glorious for colts & geldings will be contested Sunday, Dec. 12.
Track gates – including Vessels Club and Burgart’s – will open at 9:30 a.m. General parking is free with grandstand admission $3 – $2 for seniors 62 and older. Admission to Burgart’s is $5 and Vessels Club is $10.
The wagering menu includes the $2 Pick Six, a pair of $1 Pick 4’s – races 2-5 and the final four – as well as the popular Players’ Pick 5 – a 50-cent mimimum wager with a low takeout rate of 14% – on the first five races. The Pick Six will have the standard 70-30 split with 70% of the pool going to those tickets with six winners and the remaining 30% going to tickets with five of six winners. There will also be a handicapping contest Saturday, Dec. 11. The Los Alamitos Racing Association will offer a cash prize and a pair of berths in the 2022 National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. Cost to enter is $500. Of that amount, $100 will be placed in the contest prize pool with the remaining $400 going towards a live money wagering card.
Tournament races will include the entire card at Los Alamitos with permitted wagers including win, place, show, exactas, trifectas and daily doubles. Each entry must bet at least $50 on a minimum of five races that day, but there is no wagering limit.
The player with the highest bankroll at the end of the day will be declared the winner and the player with the second highest bankroll will be the runner-up. The winner will receive 50% of the prize pool. The remaining payoffs: 20% (2nd place), 15% (3rd place), 7.5 % (4th place) and 7.5% (Most Money Wagered).
Entries for the opening day program will be taken Tuesday, Nov. 30.