Finest City records initial stakes win; big week for Kruljac horses at Los Alamitos

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 26th, 2016


There was a single graded affair during the second week of racing at Los Alamitos.

Great Lady M S. (G2): Seltzer Thoroughbreds’ FINEST CITY (City Zip) commenced her run at the top of the lane and passed all foes in posting a 1 ¼-length victory with Kent Desormeaux in the silks. The four-year-old filly finished off 6 ½ panels in a strong 1:14 2/5 for trainer Ian Kruljac, registering her first stakes win in the process.

Track Stats

From a total of 34 races held at the Southern California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 38 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 62 percent of the wins. Ten races were won in wire-to-wire fashion (29 percent).

Speed dominated the Thursday card with five horses leading at every call, most of those inside speed. Early pace was good throughout the week, but better in the sprint races. In total, eight of the 10 wire-to-wire winners came in the form of sprint runs.

Meet Totals









25 (38%)

2nd Choices:


14 (21%)

Dirt Wire:


15 (23%)





Thursday (4/21)

1ST – SACRED OVATION (Congrats) proved once again that he is a gem on this main oval with a big win, moving his mark to a perfect 5-for-5 at Los Alamitos. The Kristin Mulhall trainee will be super tough right back on this oval versus similar.

6TH – LILY (Uncle Mo) had a pretty decent trip to work with but still looked the part, posting a powerful maiden tally for conditioner Jerry Hollendorfer. The three-year-old filly seemed to appreciate the added ground and could be live right back with winners.

Friday (4/22)

3RD – HANDSOME HARVEY JR (Mutakddim) was last early but closed with a rush to win this dash inching away under the guidance of Christian Aragorn. The seven-year-old gelding appreciated the move to the dirt and we will keep an eye on him going forward on the surface.

4TH – BIJOUX (Broken Vow) led late and stayed on well to be second in this affair. The mare clearly likes this level for trainer John Sadler and has tactical foot. The five-year-old will be a contender in her subsequent outing with any kind of forward move.

7TH – CHERUBIM (Henny Hughes) dueled early, opened up an edge in the lane and held off a trio of challengers in earning a gritty win in his 2016 debut. The Phil d’Amato-trained five-year-old should have gotten a ton out of this race and be even stronger in his comeback try.

Saturday (4/23)

2ND – PROFOUND VISIONARY (Pollard’s Vision) ran about as well as one could without winning in a narrow defeat for conditioner Eric Kruljac. The five-year-old gelding was 14 lengths clear of his nearest foe in this spot and could loom large next time.

3RD – SPIRITUAL (Papa Clem) took the lead approaching the turn for home and spurted clear with a nice run at first asking for trainer Art Sherman. The three-year-old filly came home in a solid :24 2/5, establishing herself as a decent prospect with more development.

Sunday (4/24)

2ND – PROHIBITION REPEAL (Benchmark) swept to the front in early stretch and powered home a convincing 6 ¼-length winner for Kruljac, who had a big week here recording a pair of wins and two seconds. The gelded five-year-old came home in a swift :23 2/5 and will be super tough coming back with a late run of this nature.

5TH – DIVINIA COMEDIA (Footstepsinthesand) took aim on the leader in midstretch and poured it on late en route to a fine allowance tally for Simon Callaghan. We think it’s pretty apparent right now that the five-year-old mare is better on the dirt.

A Look Ahead

The $75,000 Surfside S. for sophomore fillies is the lone black-type race this week at Los Alamitos.