How to bet the 2024 Los Alamitos Derby

June 28th, 2024

A compact field of five sophomores will vie in the $100,000 Los Alamitos Derby on Saturday. I feel that the horses that will take the majority of the money in the contest all have flaws, so I will take a shot with one who could upset the field at a fair price despite the small field size.

#1 Tapalo (7-5) will take a lot of action coming off an excellent Lazaro Barrera S. romp for trainer John Sadler. The speedy son of Tapiture has kept good company as of late and surely has a lot of ability, but I have two fears. The first is the 101 Brisnet Speed figure that he earned sprinting in a four-horse field last time out, which was considerably higher than any of his previous attempts. And the second is, I don’t like his chances to be at his peak going 1 1/8 miles. He will have to repeat his last effort before I jump on board with confidence.

The Bob Baffert duo of #2 Cornell (2-1) and #3 Wynstock (3-1) are each questionable to me. The former simply doesn’t appear to be very fast at this stage of his development, although he might improve some on the move to nine furlongs. Wynstock has defeated a combined two horses in his last three starts in total. I appreciate that he bagged the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) on the surface as a juvenile, but he’s hard to fancy in his current cycle.

#4 Kamaina Cruiser (15-1) graduated in his route debut at Golden Gate when running down a clear one in the lane, but his lack of dirt form, combined with his questionable class, has me looking elsewhere.

I’m in on Antonio Garcia’s #5 Curlin's Kaos (9-2) from the outside. The Cal-bred son of Clubhouse Ride moves off the lawn and comes in with fairly consistent form on the whole. The gelding has yet to win on the main strip, but his two route races on the dirt saw him come home fourth in both the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Sunland Park Derby (G3). And I thought that both were useful efforts.

I expect the trio of inside runners to be sent from the break to ensure an honest pace, which will aid the top pick who will be rallying from well off the tempo in the early stages. Mario Gutierrez picks up the mount atop the chestnut.

Los Alamitos Derby Wager

$40 win: #5 Curlin’s Kaos ($40)