Bitzka more than a former claimer

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

September 21st, 2016

The Barretts Debutante S. was the feature at Los Alamitos Saturday, with a field of six that didn't look like a whole lot to me on paper. Following the race, I seemed to have made an error in judgement as I overlooked Bitzka, who rolled home a very impressive winner in this dash.

Claimed out of her debut run for a hefty sum of $62,500, the two-year-old filly by Tiago forced the pace, dropped back a bit, and then roared home with excellent energy to win going away under the guidance of Tyler Baze. The Ohio-bred miss earned a hefty 99 BRIS Late Pace number in the score and gives every impression of a runner who will appreciate more ground as she continues to develop for conditioner John Sadler. She rates as a fine prospect, with a pedigree geared for route racing, despite being offered for a tag at first asking.

Hronis Racing and Sadler purchased a filly from a relatively obscure maiden special weight at Laurel Park in November 2014 and that filly turned out to be champion Stellar Wind, one of the top distaffers in training right now. I will not take Bitzka lightly, nor should you.

In the Barretts Juvenile on Sunday, California Diamond earned a strong 98 BRIS Speed figure for his smart tally over five foes, running faster than the ladies did a day earlier at Los Alamitos.

The Peter Miller trainee has been consistently good to this point recording a trio of wins, including the Santa Anita Juvenile, as well as a pair of runner-up stakes finishes from five career starts. However, we don't fancy California Diamond as a future prospect like Bitzka. The California-bred colt is good at what he does but has yet to face off with any serious juveniles in my view, and he also seems to have a pedigree and running style more conducive to one-turn racing.

I still respect the son of Harbor the Gold and won’t be surprised to see California Diamond continue to make an impact at one-turn with his speed.