09/22/2016 12:22PM

King: Los Alamitos pick four for Saturday, Sept. 24


Race 6

Two-year-old maidens go six furlongs in the first leg, and the race seems best played going two deep, using Bernin Sensation (7) and Saldamente (6). They are the only two horses who have managed to finish second, with Bernin Sensation doing so in his debut at Del Mar on Aug. 26 and Saldamente running second first out Aug. 6 there before a fourth in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf.

With seven opponents in this race being first-time starters, Bernin Sensation and Saldamente also have experience edges over the majority of the field.

Race 7

Tough Sunday (10) seems to be the most likely winner of this first-level allowance, having just run second at Del Mar in his first race since January. Still, his body of work over his 12-race career doesn’t amaze – so I’m inclined to try a few more here, knowing they will offer better prices. Those horses are Gutsy Ruler (9), Pulmarack (3), and Pedro Cerrano (11). Gutsy Ruler and Pulmarack regularly run Beyer Speed Figures in the mid 80s, and Pedro Cerrano is a winner of both of his races, though against claimers.

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Race 8, Los Alamitos Derby

Accelerate (7) and Semper Fortis (5) – the one-two finishers from the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 26 – are the top choices in this 1 1/8-mile stakes race, but with neither tested beyond a mile, I will also throw Blackjackcat (8) into the mix. The latter has run best on turf, though his one dirt race was respectable considering that it came in his debut, when inexperience may have contributed to his fifth-place finish.

Race 9

Star Express (7) is in good form and owns some of the better recent Beyers in the field, but being 0 for 18 and with a history of minor awards, it seems risky to use him exclusively. So, the advice is to also use Money Makin Mike (3) and He's a Knockout (5). Both come off lackluster efforts but were competitive in maiden claimers earlier this summer.

The play

Listed in numerical order, a 50-cent pick four of 6, 7 with 3, 9, 10, 11 with 5, 7, 8 with 3, 5, 7 costs $36.