Player Quick Pick: Los Alamitos for 7/5/2015

Profile Picture: Molly Jo Rosen

Molly Jo Rosen

July 5th, 2014

by Andrew Champagne

The highlight of the biggest meet in Los Alamitos history comes Saturday, when a field of seven 3-year-olds will go postward for the Los Alamitos Derby. Formerly named the Swaps Stakes, the Los Alamitos Derby is headlined by an Eclipse Award winner, one who looks very imposing.

The only thing Shared Belief has done wrong to this point in his career has been being on the shelf for the Triple Crown season. His 2014 debut was perfect, as he went six furlongs in 1:09 and change without ever being asked for his best. He stretches out to two turns, but that shouldn’t be an issue in this spot.

Others may be worried about the surface, as this will be Shared Belief’s first-ever race on dirt. However, Hollywood Park’s cushion track played similarly to dirt, and he had no problem with that in his sensational victory in the CashCall Futurity. The price won’t be there, but I don’t think Shared Belief gets beaten Saturday.

Underneath, however, you may get a price on Top Fortitude. Top Fortitude has never been bet in his career, but he’s run just one bad race to this point, and it was in his first start off a very long layoff. Since that dud, he’s won a graded stakes race, and last out, he ran second behind Bayern in the Woody Stephens at Belmont Park.

Top Fortitude is 10-1 on the morning line, and there are concerns about how far he might want to go. However, there’s no shame in running second to Bayern, and this field doesn’t have many heavy hitters. If you’re looking for a price that might up an exacta or trifecta payoff, this could be the horse to throw in.

I’d be remiss to not include Candy Boy underneath. He was last seen in the Kentucky Derby, and his race was over when he checked going around the first turn. He still rallied a bit that day, and given the long stretch at Los Alamitos, he could be in a much better spot to close ground than he was two back in the Santa Anita Derby. Still, Shared Belief thumped Candy Boy in the CashCall Futurity, and it would take a monstrous effort from Candy Boy to turn the tables.

SELECTIONS: Shared Belief, Top Fortitude, Candy Boy