Baffert Seeks Fifth Los Al Derby Win

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11:18 am

Twenty Derby Points To Winner

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will try to win the Los Alamitos Derby for a fourth consecutive year when he sends out Thousand Words and Uncle Chuck on Saturday.

The Grade III, $150,000-guaranteed Derby at 1 1/8 mile, is part of a stakes doubleheader on the next-to-last day of the Los Alamitos Summer Thoroughbred Festival. Bellafina, a seven-time graded stakes winner, tops the field of older fillies and mares in the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Great Lady M at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Post time for Saturday's first race is 1:00 PT. The Los Alamitos Derby will go as race 6 and has a scheduled post time of 3:28 PT while the Great Lady M. will be the eighth of nine races and is scheduled for 4:28 p.m.

Baffert won the race with West Coast in 2017 and continued with Once On Whiskey and Game Winner. He'll be seeking his fifth win overall since daytime thoroughbred racing returned to Los Alamitos in 2014. Baffert also won with Gimme Da Lute in 2015.

With the postponement of the Kentucky Derby from May 2 until Sept. 5, the Los Alamitos Derby is part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby, with the winner to receive 20 Derby points and 8-4-2 going to the next three finishers.

A son of Pioneerof the Nile, Thousand Words will try to recoup his image by becoming the first horse to win both the Los Alamitos Futurity and Derby. Shared Belief won the final running of the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park in 2013 and the inaugural running of the Los Alamitos Derby the following year.

Owned by Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Spendthrift Farm LLC, Thousand Words hasn’t been out since finishing far back over a sloppy track as the 5-2 favorite in the Oaklawn Stakes April 11 in Arkansas. He’s won three of five overall and earned $235,500.

Uncle Chuck, a rising star in the Baffert stable, was an impressive first-out winner on June 12 at Santa Anita. He went gate-to-wire against four opponents in the race at one mile, cruising to a seven-length victory for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. The win was worth $30,000 for Uncle Chuck, a $250,000 purchase at the Keeneland September sale in 2018.

Defeated a neck by Thousand Words in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity in his final start as a 2-year-old, Anneau d’Or will be seeking his first win of 2020 for Peter Redekop B.C. Ltd. and trainer Blaine Wright.

Great Power and Cosmo, a maiden, round out the field of five.