Dabster, by Curlin, showed 1 1/4 miles was no problem, winning the inaugural Los Alamitos Special under Joe Talamo
Less than four weeks after winning the Harry F. Brubaker at Del Mar, Dabster added a second stakes victory to his resume, taking the inaugural $100,690 Los Alamitos Special Sunday at Los Alamitos race course in Cypress, Calif.
After tracking the pace set by Little Scotty, who opened a four-length lead through the first half mile, the 4-year-old son of Curlin and the A.P. Indy mare On a Roll gained a slender advantage early in the stretch and eventually prevailed by two lengths over 10-1 shot Divisor and five others.
Now 2-for-2 under jockey Joe Talamo, Dabster, the 8-5 favorite in the Special, completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.45, a track record for a distance that had only been run once previously since daytime thoroughbred racing returned to Los Alamitos in July, 2014.
Wings of Mojave had the old mark of 2:03.57 established Sept. 13, 2015.
The victory was a local record 16th daytime thoroughbred stakes for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and the fifth in nine outings for Dabster, who is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum. The $60,000 winner’s share boosted the chestnut’s earnings to $252,425. He paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.60.
Although the Special was the first start for Dabster beyond 1 1/16 miles, assistant trainer Mike Marlow believed the 10 furlongs wouldn’t be a problem for the colt, who was purchased for $1 million as a 2-year-old in March, 2016.
“We thought he would like the distance,” said Marlow. “He’s a big, long-striding horse who can gallop all day.
“We thought one or two of them might go, but if nobody wanted the lead we were going to go. It set up well. (Talamo) was smart. He let (Little Scotty) wing, but stayed in contention.”
Divisor, who is trained by Phil D’Amato who also ran fourth-place finisher and 4-1 third choice Ya Gotta Wanna, finished 1 ½ lengths in front of 2-1 second choice Colonist. The 4-year-old Harlan’s Holiday gelding returned $8.80 and $4.40 while the show price on Colonist was $2.40.
Completing the order of finish were Twentytwentyvision, Engram and Little Scotty.
“He’s a real cool horse, very gutty,” said Talamo of Dabster after his fourth Los Alamitos stakes success. “It’s fun to ride one like that. I was trying to give him a breather on the turn and when they came to him in the stretch he did all the work.”
Racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 2 p.m.
With four days left in the Los Angeles County Fair meet, apprentice jockeys Assael Espinoza and Heriberto Figueroa share the lead in the rider standings. Both have nine wins. Tiago Pereira is third with eight.
Baffert tops the trainers with five victories, two more than Peter Eurton and Steve Knapp.
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