CYPRESS, Calif. —The third and final Thoroughbred meet of 2017 at Los Alamitos will begin Thursday, Nov. 30.
The 12-day Winter season follows the 12-day Los Angeles County Fair at Los Alamitos meet in September and the eight-day Summer Thoroughbred Festival in July.
Racing will be conducted on a Thursday-Sunday basis through Sunday, Dec. 17. Post time will be 1 p.m on weekdays and 12:30 p.m. on weekends.
The three-week meet will be highlighted by a pair of Grade I races for 2-year-olds – the $300,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity and the $300,000-guaranteed Starlet – Saturday, Dec. 9.
The Futurity is one of the races on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby’’ with the winner receiving 10 points towards a berth in the Kentucky Derby next May 5 at Churchill Downs.
Among the leading candidates for the Futurity is McKinzie, an impressive first out winner for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has won all three renewals of the Futurity – Dortmund (2014), Mor Spirit (2015) and Mastery (2016) – since the race was moved to Los Alamitos from Hollywood Park.
Baffert has won the race, which was run in Inglewood from 1981-2013, a record nine times. Named in honor of Brad McKinzie, the late longtime Los Alamitos executive, McKinzie is a son of Street Sense owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. He graduated Oct. 28 at Santa Anita.
The Starlet – which is restricted to fillies – is one of the events on the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks.’’ The winner earns 10 points towards a spot in the Kentucky Oaks next May 4.
Both the CashCall Futurity and the Starlet will be run at 1 1/16 miles.
The Grade II, $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes returns to Los Alamitos for the first time since 2014. Restricted to fillies and mares (3-year-olds & up), the Bayakoa will be contested Sunday, Dec. 2.
Possible starters for the race at 1 1/16 miles include 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Champagne Room and Majestic Heat, an easy winner of the Betty Grable Stakes Nov. 12 at Del Mar in her initial start on dirt.
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. 2 while the King Glorious will be offered Saturday, Dec. 16.
Track gates – including the Clubhouse and Vessels Club – will open at 9:30 a.m. General parking is free with grandstand admission $3 ($2 for seniors).
The wagering menu includes the Pick Six, a pair of Pick 4’s – races 2-5 and the final four races – as well as the extremely popular Players’ Pick 5 – a 50-cent minimum wager with a reduced 14% takeout rate which is offered on the first five races.
In addition to the Starlet and Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity, the Dec. 9 program will feature a live money handicapping contest with three seats available to the 2018 National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. A second live money contest will be offered Dec. 16.
There will also be a 2018 wall calendar giveaway – one per paid admission while supplies last – Sunday, Dec. 17.
Entries were taken Monday for the opening day program and a total of 69 horses were entered in the eight races.