by Los Alamitos Press Release
July 15, 2017
CYPRESS, Calif. – The Grade III, $200,000 Los Alamitos Derby and the $150,000 Forbidden Apple are part of a special cross-country Pick 4 being offered Saturday.
Two races from Los Alamitos and a pair from Belmont Park will comprise the 50-cent minimum wager, which is being labeled “New York-Los Alamitos Pick 4.’’
Besides the Forbidden Apple, which is scheduled for one mile on the turf and attracted 11 runners - including one main track only entrant – the other race from Belmont is a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-old maidens bred in New York.
The Forbidden Apple, which is the eighth on the New York Racing Association program, has an approximate post time of 2:18 p.m. PDT while the ninth race for maidens is scheduled to run at 2:50 p.m. PDT.
In addition to the Los Alamitos Derby, which is headed by Easy Goer Stakes winner West Coast, the other local racepart of the exotic wager is an optional claimer for older horses at one mile.
Both of the Los Alamitos races have eight entrants. Post time for the first of the two Los Alamitos races is scheduled for 4:28 p.m. PDT while the Derby is scheduled to go at approximately 4:58.
From New York Racing Association Press Release The 149th Belmont Stakes (G1) Quotes Todd Pletcher, winning trainer of Tapwrit (No. 2) and third-place finisher Patch (No. 12): "Tapwrit was getting a beautiful trip. It was everything we talked about in the paddock before the race. We were hoping he had enough when it came to crunch time. It looked like Irish War Cry still had a little something left, but the last sixteenth, he dug down deep." On winning his third career Belmont Stakes: "It's our home base and I think that's always an advantage. We felt like with the five weeks in between, and with the way this horse had trained, that he had a legitimate chance." Jose Ortiz, winning jockey aboard Tapwrit (No. 2): "It's an unbelievable feeling that I can't explain. I'm very happy right now. I'm happy for the owners and for Todd [Pletcher] for giving me the opportunity." "The distance, I was sure he could handle it. It was a great training job by Todd. I always liked him and we always had a lot of faith in him. Today he showed up. I'm very happy." Graham Motion, trainer of runner-up and beaten 5-2 favorite Irish War Cry (No. 7): "It actually wasn't our plan to be on the lead. We kind of hoped that somebody else would go for it, but he had to go to Plan B and [jockey] Rajiv [Maragh] did a great job. At the eighth pole, I thought we might be home free, but it's the Belmont. It's a tough race. "I'm very proud of how he ran. I thought he ran a very game race. Yes, it's very vindicating - for the horse and for me and the owners and everyone. I thought he ran very game, honestly. "We were hoping we might get a little bit of a stalking trip but we had to go to Plan B and Rajiv did a great job. He went three-quarters [of a mile] in [1:14]. Turning for home, I thought we might have it but it's a long way home." Rajiv Maragh rider of runner-up Irish War Cry (No. 7): "He ran a real good race. He tried hard to the end. When I straightened up I had horse left and I knew it was going to take a really big run from another hose to catch me. I was pretty confident turning for home. I saw the other horse coming and obviously a race of this magnitude I'm going to ride hard to the wire, and even when I was ahead you know they're going to be coming at you, but my horse never really gave up. He ran hard to the end he just got a little bit overpowered late in the race, but I'm proud of his effort. "I was more disappointed in the Kentucky Derby, but I felt like I had a good shot at winning turning for home. I didn't want to get any emotions come and cloud my judgement so I kind of just rode my race. It was a little bittersweet. When you get that close to winning the Belmont stakes, and finishing second, but the horse came back and showed his true colors, and I'm glad he showed up and ran this race today. He ran hard." John Velazquez, rider aboard third-place finisher Patch (No. 12): "He ran a very good race. [It was a] good trip. The whole race, that's where we broke and where we were, I thought he ran a good race. He finished up really well. He can run with a good kick." John Shirreffs, trainer of fourth-place finisher Gormley (No. 3): "I thought he ran really well. I'm pleased with the effort he made. He bobbled a little out of the gate but he recovered nicely. I thought he ran a very creditable race. Victor [Espinoza] said he started looking around a little bit, so we probably can improve on that. This is the first time he's gone the mile-and-a-half and they are young 3-year-olds. I didn't think the distance was a problem for him. When the horse came back he wasn't breathing all that hard. We'll take him back to California, and we may come back east with him. It depends upon how things are going. If they're going well, there's a possibility of Saratoga." Victor Espinoza, rider aboard fourth-place finisher Gormley (No. 3): "I think he ran a great race. He missed the break. He stumbled a little bit because he was moving around and the other two horses [next to him] squeezed me just a little, but he's quick, so I thought I could get out of that mess and sit just off the speed. I had an excellent trip, but down the lane he was still just a little immature. He really didn't help me to go forward. I have to believe that blinkers would help him. As he gets older, I believe that he's going to improve." Florent Geroux, jockey aboard Hollywood Handsome (No. 5): "I got squeezed pretty hard coming into the first turn. My horse clipped heels. I almost went down and I lost my stirrup. He was bleeding underneath his leg, it looked like."
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - This year's Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks for three year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on Saratoga Race Course's hallowed main track will feature the 101st winning filly in its history at its conclusion. She will top a list of champions such as Shuvee, Ruffian, Sky Beauty, Songbird and many others who left their mark over the century-long race that began back at Belmont Park in 1917. China Horse Club and Clearsky Farm's Abel Tasman is set to continue the winning form displayed in her late-closing kick to win the Grade 1 Acorn by a length under a heady ride by Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith on the Belmont Stakes Day undercard. It was her second victory since her six-wide late run in the slop to win the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Never worse than second with the exception of her debut through five starts, the daughter of Quality Road won the Grade 1 Starlet, and finished second in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes before being transferred to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's care in early March. The Coaching Club American will be her fourth start for Baffert. "She shipped well, everything is good," Baffert said. "She's been to the track a couple of days now. She's just got a really great mind. She's a real sweet horse to be around, just a lot of class." After a slow start where she finished a distant second to runaway winner Paradise Woods in the Santa Anita Derby, Abel Tasman returned with blinkers in the Kentucky Oaks. She has yet to be beaten since the change. "They made a big difference, and she's been training really well since. We ran her once, and I didn't want to change a thing. Mike said she really needs blinkers after the race, and he confirmed it when he worked her after, he said she changed. She was pretty good before that." Abel Tasman, named after a 1600s Dutch explorer, is eligible to sweep the Triple Tiara - a win in the Acorn, Coaching Club American Oaks and Grade 1 Alabama Stakes on August 19 at the Spa. No filly has won the Triple Tiara since the series was reconfigured in 2010. Abel Tasman's ninth career start will be from post 2, where she will be joined by Smith. Salty, representing owners Gary Barber, Baccari Racing and Chester Prince will face Abel Tasman for the third time after finishing a length behind as the runner-up in the Acorn. It was the second time Abel Tasman got the upper hand on Salty after a rough, wide trip put the Quality Road filly out of contention in the Kentucky Oaks. The Mark Casse trainee settled for a fifth-place performance over the sloppy Churchill Downs oval. "She's doing great," Casse said. "We're excited. She's doing better than ever, had a nice work over the track. It's a rematch. We definitely want another chance, and it looks like we're going to get it. If Abel Tasman beats us, then I tip my cap to her and Bob. We talk a lot, and I have the utmost respect for Bob. I think the more respect you have for somebody the more you want to beat them." Salty will be one of three Casse will saddle as Bobby Flay's Corporate Queen, third in the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan, and sixth in the Grade 3 Wonder Again will join Gary Barber's Summer Luck, who enters off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes. "If it gets a little wet, it will help Corporate Queen, and I think Summer Luck will enjoy the mile and an eighth. There's not a lot of speed in the race, but it looks like both Abel Tasman and Salty will go at it early. It might be a lot like this year's Preakness." Salty will run from post 7, and gets Joel Rosario in the saddle. Corporate Queen drew post 4 with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., and Summer Luck will race from post 5 with Javier Castellano getting the call. Normandy Farm's Daddy's Lil Darling returns off her fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational, and was another who had been unable to match Abel Tasman in the Kentucky Oaks after a game second-place finish in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland. The Scat Daddy filly will make her sixth Grade 1 start for trainer Ken McPeek, and is in search of her first Grade 1 victory. Daddy's Lil Darling will break from post 3 with jockey Julien Leparoux aboard. Adele Dilschneider's Elate drew the rail for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Jose Ortiz, and West Point Thoroughbred's Berned, for trainer Graham Motion and jockey Rajiv Maragh, will break from post 6.