The $150,000 Los Alamitos Derby (G3) will be run Saturday as race 6 at Los Alamitos.  For 3-year-olds, the 1 1/8-mile race is part of the 2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby series with 20-8-4-2 points going to the top four finishers. Even with a five-horse field, there are no sure things in here so you have to be right to be rewarded.

Top Picks for the Los Alamitos Derby

  • #4 Uncle Chuck
  • #5 Anneau d’Or
  • #3 Thousand Words
  • #2 Great Power

Betting the Los Alamitos Derby

  • $40 exacta – 4 with 5
  • $10 exacta – 5 with 4

Contenders for the Los Alamitos Derby

#1 Cosmo is still a maiden and will make his dirt debut in his sixth start of 2020. His best turf race came at today’s distance, but he would need the pace to fall apart to have a chance. Neil Drysdale wins an amazing 41% third start off the layoff and his runners show a big, flat-bet profit. Abel Cedillo rides from the rail.

#2 Great Power returns off a 112-day layoff for Simon Callaghan, who does well in this spot. The son of Distorted Humor won his career debut easily so he should have no trouble running fresh. In his last start, he ran into Charlatan and was a distant third going two turns. Flavien Prat gets off and I don’t like his workout interruption in May when he did not have a timed work for 44 days.

#3 Thousand Words lived up to his $1 million sales price when he won his first three starts. In his two-turn debut, he won the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) here then came back at Santa Anita to win the Robert Lewis (G3). In a particularly salty renewal of the San Felipe (G2), he could not keep up in a strong pace and faded. Next out at Oaklawn Park, he caught a sloppy track and was soundly beaten. Bob Baffert has trained him hard since then and removes blinkers while adding Flavien Prat who rode him in the first four career starts. As good as he was, Baffert horses usually maintain their form and for whatever reason, this colt has not.    

#4 Uncle Chuck romped as the even-money favorite by seven widening lengths in his career debut going a two-turn mile at Santa Anita. The time was good and he is certainly eligible to improve. What is intriguing is that there does not look to be much early speed in the field and he gets the aggressive Luis Saez for the first time. Saez has a new jockey agent, former trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and this mount for the Baffert barn represents a big opportunity for them. His dam was blazing fast and one of her foals was third in this race in 2015.

#5 Anneau d’Or fits with these on his best day but has yet to regain last year’s form when he just missed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). After a failed experiment with blinkers to start the year off, he weakened in a division of the Arkansas Derby going this distance. With the Santa Anita Derby (G1) delayed until the first Saturday of June, he was a decent fourth against two leaders of the division. Back in four weeks, he could work out a stalking trip behind Uncle Chuck.