03/24/2017 12:55PM

Three stakes at Los Al's July meeting


The Grade 3 Los Alamitos Derby on July 15 will be worth $200,000 and is the richest of three stakes at the eight-day Los Alamitos summer meeting July 6-16, the track announced Thursday.

The track is running a July meeting for the first time since 2015. Last year, Los Alamitos hosted Thoroughbred meetings in April, September, and December. This year, there are also meetings scheduled for September and December.

The Los Alamitos Derby was run in September last year for $200,000. The race was worth $350,000 when run in July 2015.

The July meeting this year includes the Grade 3, $150,000 Great Lady M. Stakes for fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs and the $100,000 Bertrando Stakes for California-bred milers on July 8. Finest City won the 2016 Great Lady M. Stakes when the race was run in April and was worth $200,000. Finest City later won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and was named the champion female sprinter of 2016.

The Great Lady M. is recognized as a Grade 2 race but must maintain a $200,000 purse to retain that status, according to the American Graded Stakes Committee. The race will be recognized as a Grade 3 race this year because of the lower purse.

In 2015, there were four stakes worth $725,000 in total at the summer meeting, compared with three races worth $450,000 this year. This year’s schedule does not include a $75,000 stakes for 2-year-olds.

Track officials said some purses have been reduced to allow the December meeting to offer two Grade 1 races for 2-year-olds at $300,000 each – the Starlet for fillies and the Futurity.