The Kentucky Derby qualification format has changed significantly in recent years with points earned in designated races. Now another race has been designated a points race–the Los Alamitos Futurity.
It’s been a big year or Los Alamitos racing. It has expanded it’s racing schedule, picking up dates from the now defunct Hollywood Park and Fairplex Park. In the process they’ve picked up several stakes races. And most significantly a horse that trains there–California Chrome–has served notice that the track has first rate competition.
Now one of the races at the track will help determine which horses compete in the Kentucky Derby. The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity will be run on December 20 this year and has been added to the qualification roster as a points earning race. The race will be over 1-1/16-mile race and will replace the race of the same distance that was run under several different names at Hollywood Park 1981-2013. Those races produced six Kentucky Derby winners and the track is hoping that number will grow.
The Los Alamitos Futurity will be a Grade 1 race and will award points to the top four finishers in a 10-4-2-1 format. Additionally, the track will add a similar race for fillies that will earn points for Kentucky Oaks qualification. This race is also a ‘refugee’ from Hollywood Park. The $350,000 Starlet will be a a 1-1/16-mile, Grade 1 race set for December 13 and will award Kentucky Oaks qualification points in the same format as the Derby qualification race.
The Fall race meet at Los Alamitos is set to get underway on September 5 and will be highlighted by the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile for 3-year-olds and up September 6. The race had originally been scheduled for September 20 in hopes that California Chrome could use it as his ‘comeback’ and Breeders’ Cup warm up race but his connections opted instead to ship him to Philadelphia’s Parx Racing for a run in the Pennsylvania Derby. The race was finally scheduled for early September in order to facilitate entrants being able to run in the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on September 27. Overall, the meet will feature 8 stakes races. This is down from the 12 previously held at Fairplex.