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Bayakoa Stakes 2014; Six Ladies Lined-Up To Run at Los Alamitos

Bayakoa Stakes 2014; Six Ladies Lined-Up To Run at Los Alamitos: The 2014 Bayakoa Stakes (GII) takes place Saturday, December 6, 2014 at Los Alamitos Racetrack in Cypress, California. The race is open to fillies and mares 3 years-old and up racing 1 1/16 miles (8.5 furlongs) on the dirt vying for a purse of $200,000. Prior, this race was held annually for 32 years at Betfair Hollywood Park the first weekend in December.

Los Alamitos Racetrack

The Bayakoa Stakes takes place at Los Alamitos Racetrack on Saturday, December 6, 2014.

Inaugurated in 1981 as the Silver Belles Handicap, it was raced at a distance of 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs) through 1989 and at 8.5 furlongs since 1990. The race was renamed the Bayakoa Handicap in 1994 in honor of U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Bayakoa.

Bayakoa was an Argentinian bred descendent of the sire Nearco through both lines in her pedigree. She ran some bangup races in Argentina and was sold to the U.S. to be trained by Ron McAnally. She won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in both 1989 & 1990 and was subsequently given the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Older Female Horse both of those years. The 1990 Breeders’ Cup Distaff was held at Belmont Park where Bayakoa vied for the lead with Go For Wand. As they were coming off the final turn and entering the last furlong, Go For Wand’s leg shattered near the spot on the track where Ruffian is buried. Bayakoa continued on to win and Go For Wand was euthanized. McAnally stated after the traumatic race, “These horses give their lives for our entertrainment.” Makes me cry just reading this and I don’t want to watch the replay. Well said Mr. McAnally.

Bayakoa was retired to broodmore duty producing four foals before passing away from laminitis in 1997. She is the second damn to the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned who is out of her daughter Alucea. RIP Bayakoa. Kudos to the California Racing Commission or whomever names these races. Los Alamitos as well? For keeping the race named for her after moving from Hollywood Park.

The Bayakoa Stakes has a start time of 3:30 pm, PST and is the 7th race of the day on a card of 9.

Last weekend we played Races 3,6,7 & 8 at Del Mar and our top pick won in 3 of those 4 races with Big Cazanova, Magic Lily and California Chrome. Race #6 my alternate won Ol’ Fashion Gal. Our Daily Doubles both hit with Big Cazanova and Sigi’s top pick Race #4 with Bolo. Hopefully, Los Alamitos will be as profitable this meet. I must say I’m not surprised but am a little disappointed in this small field so let’s take a look.

Kari’s Picks: 6,3 (2)* will use the #2 in exacta box if played
I’m going with the Peruvian daughter of Pegasus Wind, Valiant Emilia for the G. Mandella barn as my top play. This is her second race off the layoff in the United States. Last out she ran 8th from post #8 in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff going 1 1/8 miles where she broke first, leaned in at the break, was involved early stalking the pace and weakened. I think with that race under her belt, a nice outside post in a small field and a cutback in distance, she has a nice chance. Prior, June 22nd she won the (GIII) Cesar Del Rio Suito in Peru. Hey, she beat Close Hatches so here’s to hoping.   I would love to see her win and with Bejarano up, fly Emilia fly. Tiz Midnight from the Baffert Barn was also involved in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff where she finished 6th and 9 1/2 lengths behind Untapable. This Midnight Lute gal has won 3 of 8 races and hasn’t been off the board in 5 races this year before the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Bring it girl with Espinoza riding! If Tiz Midnights odds suck, which they probably will, I’ll play the #2 Legacy as she has a win in the Cypress Stakes on July 6th at Los Al and was second behind Irish Princess in the Las Madrinas Stakes 9/21 in the fall meet. She has a few killer recent works and could have better odds than Tiz Midnight. She also holds a track record for Los Alamitos so the filly should run very well.
Kari’s Play:
This doesn’t look like the greatest betting race so I’m going to do a win/place on #6 Valiant Emilia if her odds stay at 4-1 or higher. Tiz Midnight will not be playable for myself but wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see her smoke this field. If Legacy stays around 4-1 as well, I’ll do axacta exacta box with 6,2 and play against Tiz Midnight. I will also play both of Sigi’s plays. Good luck to everyone and thank you Sigi for adding your picks and plays.

Sigi’s Picks: Race #7: 2,6
This is a short field and all of these ladies have a chance to win. However, I can’t play all of them. Analyzing this race in detail, I like Legacy a lot. Firstly I’m drawing a line through her last race the Goldikova Stakes (GII) on the turf. She is returning to Los Alamitos, a track where she always runs very well and looks like the expert on it. My second pick in this race is the Peruvian bred Valiant Emilia. This mare ran a decent race in her debut in USA in the Breeder’s Cup Distaff (GI). Now she’s dropping in class and has a series of good workouts for this race. Another good point, she should like the Los Alamitos track.
Sigi’s Play:
I’m playing a DD starting in race #6
Also playing a pick 3 starting in race #6

2014 Bayakoa Stakes Post Positions & Odds
1 Yahilwa 5/2 M.Smith/J.Cassidy
2 Legacy 4/1 E.Maldonado/J.Sadler
3 Tiz Midnight 2/1 V.Espinoza/B.Baffert
4 Oscar Party 8/1 G.Stevens/J.Cassidy
5 Warren’s Veneda 6/1 T.Baze/C.Lewis
6 Valiant Emilia (PER) 4/1 R.Bejarano/G.Mandella