Kentuckian won the Lazaro Barrera Stakes by a 6 1/4 lengths on May 10.

Kentuckian won the Lazaro Barrera Stakes by a 6 1/4 lengths on May 10.

Benoit Photography

Kentuckian Tops Los Alamitos Derby Field

Son of Tiznow should be significant favorite in five-horse field.

For the second year in a row, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer appears to have an overwhelming favorite in the $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby (gr. II) July 4 at Los Alamitos Race Course.

A year after Shared Belief won the first running of the race at 3-5 odds, Hollendorfer enters the 2015 Los Alamitos Derby with Fox Hill Farms' Kentuckian, a 6 1/4-length victor last time out in the seven-furlong Lazaro Barrera Stakes (gr. III) May 10 at Santa Anita Park.

BALAN: Kentuckian Romps in Lazaro Barrera Victory

Since then, the son of Tiznow  has recorded standout drills every time out. Since May 23, he's had two bullet four-furlong workouts (:46 flat and :45 2/5), five-furlong runs of :59 2/5 and :58 4/5, a bullet six furlongs in 1:11 flat, and a seven-furlong work in 1:23 3/5. All were at Santa Anita.

Kentuckian will also draw Shared Belief's regular rider, Mike Smith, who was aboard for the first time in the Barrera.

"He was very impressive last time and it was as easy as it looked," Smith said. "He's also been training extremely well since that race."

What Kentuckian doesn't have, however, is two-turn experience, which may be an advantage to the rest of the field in the 1 1/8-mile dirt test.

Kentuckian's main challengers figure to be Bob Baffert-trained Gimme Da Lute, who won last time out in the Affirmed Stakes (gr. III) June 7 at Santa Anita, and Prospect Park, who was second in the Affirmed (a half-length behind Gimme Da Lute) and was previously on the Triple Crown trail before an illness forced him out of contention for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

LAMARRA: Gimme Da Lute Gets the Cash in Affirmed

Prospect Park, a Pam and Martin Wygod homebred by Tapit  trained by Cliff Sise, was second and fourth, respectively, to Dortmund in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) and Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). He also has bullets on his worktab, with two six-furlong drills in 1:12 1/5 at San Luis Rey Downs Training Center since the Affirmed. Jockey Tyler Baze will be in the irons, as regular rider Kent Desormeaux will be at Belmont Park the same day to ride Texas Red in the $500,000 Dwyer Stakes (gr. III).

Black Gold Racing's two-time stakes winner and graded stakes-placed Pain and Misery, seventh in the San Felipe, returns to Southern California for the Los Alamitos Derby after three races outside the Golden State (including a victory in the Charles Taylor Derby at Albuquerque Downs last time out June 6).

Holly and David Wilson's Follow Me Crev appears to be the longest shot in the field, coming off a third place finish in a mile turf race at Santa Anita May 31, when trainer Vladimir Cerin claimed the 3-year-old Quality Road  gelding. His only victory from seven starts came in a seven-furlong maiden claiming event at Santa Anita in January.

Entries: Los Alamitos Derby (G2)

LOS ALAMITOS RACE COURSE, Saturday, July 04, 2015, Race 8

  • Grade II
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $350,000
  • 3 yo
  • 5:43 PM (local)
11Follow Me Crev (KY)Alonso Quinonez122Vladimir Cerin-
22Gimme Da Lute (CA)Martin Garcia122Bob Baffert-
33Pain and Misery (KY)Flavien Prat122Henry Dominguez-
44Kentuckian (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMike E. Smith122Jerry Hollendorfer-
55Prospect Park (KY)Tyler Baze122Clifford W. Sise, Jr.-