04/23/2010 11:00PM

Alphie's Bet may try Belmont Stakes next


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Alphie's Bet broke slowly in Saturday's at Hollywood Park, raced near the back of the field for the first half of the race, and still made winning look easy.

Winning his second stakes of the year, Alphie's Bet pulled away from seven overclassed rivals to win the Snow Chief Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths, a win that led co-owner Peter Johnson to confirm Alphie's Bet as a candidate for the Belmont Stakes in New York on June 5.

The Snow Chief Stakes was the richest race on a 10-race program that featured eight races for California-breds, including four stakes worth $150,000 or more.

Johnson, co-owner and breeder Teresa McWilliams, and trainer Alexis Barba had hoped to start Alphie's Bet in the Kentucky Derby next Saturday, but the colt did not have sufficient graded stakes earnings to be assured a place in the field.

The Snow Chief was a consolation that returned a first-place purse of $120,000. Ridden by Mike Smith, Alphie's Bet ($3.40) stalked Working Capital through a decent pace of 23 and 46.48 seconds, moved into contention with a wide move on the turn and pulled clear through the stretch. He finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.15.

"I think he ran his race," Johnson said. "Mike settled him down nicely."

Working Capital, a former maiden claimer making his stakes debut, finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Mr Tokyo, a 29-1 outsider. Mr Tokyo was also making his stakes debut.

Alphie's Bet won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on March 6, but lost any chance for a start in the Kentucky Derby with a sixth-place finish after a wide trip in the Santa Anita Derby on April 3. A colt by Tribal Rule, Alphie's Bet has won 3 of 7 starts and $261,320.

Melair: Camille C slows down the pace

Experience, and a patient ride from jockey Rafael Bejarano, gave Camille C her first stakes win around two turns in the .

Bejarano put Camille C on the lead shortly after the start, set a slow pace of 49.38 and 1:14.04 and held off Salty Fries to win the race for statebred 3-year-old fillies by 3 1/4 lengths.

"I think she stole the race," trainer Marcelo Polanco said.

La Nez, the 3-5 favorite, was well-placed on the turn but faded through the stretch and was beaten 9 3/4 lengths. La Nez won the California Cup Juvenile Fillies last October, with Camille C second in that race.

In the Melair, Camille C ($8.20) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.57, ending a six-race losing streak, all in stakes, dating back to the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar last summer. The Melair Stakes was Camille C's first win around two turns.

"She can do anything," Polanco said. "She's blooming."

Owned by Polanco's brother, Carlos, Camille C has won 3 of 13 stats and $269,551. Earlier this year, she was second in the China Doll Stakes and fourth in the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes, both of which were on turf.

B. Thoughtful: U R All That I Am up in time

A loose horse caused more trouble for U R All That I Am in the than three other rivals.

U R All That I Am ($3) won the stakes for California-bred females by a half-length over Ruffled Feathers, finishing 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:30.31. The only suspense in the race occurred on the turn when winning jockey Rafael Bejarano had to wait for a few strides to allow a loose horse, Witchy Meeting, to drift to the outside and out of the way.

"You don't know what the loose horse will do," said Dan Ward, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's assistant.

U R All That I Am was last of four after a half-mile, but made steady progress through the stretch to reach the front in the final sixteenth. Ruffled Feather finished a length in front of Lady Alex, who was well clear of Big N Sassy.

Witchy Meeting unseated jockey David Flores at the start. Neither horse nor jockey appeared injured. Flores rode Costanta to a fourth-place finish in the Melair Stakes.

U R All That I Am, a 4-year-old filly by Valid Wager, has won 7 of 14 starts and $270,188. A former claimer, she won the Cat's Cradle Stakes here for state-bred females last November.

Tiznow: Former claimer gets the money

Fantasy Free, claimed for $25,000 at the fall meeting here in December, closed along the rail to win his first stakes in the for older state-bred sprinters.

Fantasy Free was making the 41st start of his career, and first start in a stakes since a sixth in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes at Santa Anita in December 2007.

Ridden by Omar Berrio, Fantasy Free ($22.80) was well-placed on the rail behind pacesetters One Track Mind and Liberian Freighter to the turn. Berrio kept Fantasy Free on the rail and held off a late run from Bestdressed to win by a half-length. Mobilized finished third, a length behind Bestdressed.

Liberian Freighter, the 2-1 favorite, faded to finish sixth in a field of eight.

Fantasy Free, a 5-year-old gelding, is owned by Roddy Valente and trained by A.C. Avila. Fantasy Free has made six starts for his Valente and Avila, winning twice and earning $144,444. In his career, Fantasy Free has won 8 races and $299,884.