2020 Los Alamitos Derby (Los Alamitos Race Course) - Predictions & Odds

Los Alamitos Derby 2020

“If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick, Thousand Words (5/2)”

Post Position and Odds – Los Alamitos Derby

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Los Alamitos Derby at Los Alamitos Race Course!

PPHorseOddsJockeyTrainer
1COSMO20/1
(BET NOW)
A CedilloN Drysdale
2GREAT POWER5/1
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D Van DykeS Callaghan
3THOUSAND WORDS5/2
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F PratB Baffert
4UNCLE CHUCK1/1
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L SaezB Baffert
5ANNEAU D’OR3/1
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V EspinozaB Wright

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How good is Uncle Chuck? That’s the big question heading into the Grade 3 Los Alamitos Derby. A very impressive debut winner for trainer Bob Baffert on June 12, the highly regarded son of Uncle Mo will move right into graded stakes competition as he faces a small field in Saturday’s race at Los Alamitos Race Course.

Uncle Chuck garnered quite a bit of support in the recent Kentucky Derby Future Wager off of only the maiden score, so look for him to be a heavy favorite when he faces four others in the $150,000 test.

Chief among his competition will be his two-time graded stakes-winning stablemate Thousand Words and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Anneau d’Or. Neither has won recently, but it was Thousand Words who scored his first stakes victory at Los Alamitos when he edged Anneau d’Or last December in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity.

The 9 furlong Los Alamitos Derby will serve this year as a points race for the September 5 Kentucky Derby, with 20 points going to the winner.

Los Alamitos Derby Race Information

What to watchLos Alamitos Derby (G3)
WhereLos Alamitos Race Course
WhenSaturday, July 4 — 6:28 pm EST
How to watchTVG
Purse$150,000

Race Analysis

Uncle Chuck

For a horse with only a single maiden win for experience to go off as the fourth choice in the recent Kentucky Derby Future Wager, you know there’s quite a bit of buzz surrounding this Baffert runner. His maiden score three weeks ago was impressive, as he rushed up after breaking slowly and commanded the race every step thereafter. It was the type of speed display which leads me to believe that he will head right out to the early lead in his stakes debut. There is a question about the extra furlong he will see on Saturday, as there is with the step up in class. His prospects for this one could well come down to how easy his lead is early in the race. If allowed to lope along with little pressure, his low odds will likely be justified, but with the questions, I am willing to take a small shot against the heavy favorite.

Thousand Words

The only way to like the ‘other Baffert’ in here is to draw a line through his last race when he finished up the track in the Oaklawn Stakes in April. The off-track and the bad start clearly did him no favors. Before that he could manage no better than fourth in the San Felipe (G2) which ended his three-race winning streak to begin his career. In Authentic and Honor A.P., he faced better that day than he will see in his return to Los Alamitos. Working well for this one, it looks like he has found a field in which he can return to his winning ways. His stablemate could be a good one, but with experience on his side, a stalking trip might be able to get the job done late in this small field. He is a lukewarm top pick.

Anneau d’Or

After a pair of very promising second-place finishes in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), this well-bred son of Medaglia d’Oro has not lived up to expectations in 2020. He began the year with a dull ninth in the Risen Star (G2), and followed up with a mediocre fifth in the Arkansas Derby (G1). On the plus side, his third race of the year was an improvement when new rider Victor Espinoza got him to be part of a contested pace in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). He actually stayed on pretty well, only losing third in the final stages of that one. Espinoza will be on him again, and he looks like the most likely runner to pressure Uncle Chuck early. A repeat of his performance in the Santa Anita Derby puts him in with a shot in here.

Great Power

A very well-bred son of Blame, this Simon Callaghan runner had the misfortune of running into Charlatan in his only start this year. A winner of his only start as a juvenile, he was a little overmatched and checked in a distant third. It should be noted that he wasn’t all that far behind the runner-up Rushie, who has since gone on to better things, including a third-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby. Great Power has been away since that start nearly four months ago, so it’s hard to know if he’ll be at his very best for this one. There is certainly potential there considering both his pedigree and his first two starts.

Cosmo

This one seems to be in the deep end of the pool. He is still a maiden after five starts, although all of them came on the grass. This looks like a very ambitious spot for his dirt debut, but trained by Neil Drysdale, and bred to like the dirt, who knows, maybe he moves upon his new surface. If he does, he is benefited by this not being the strongest graded stakes in the world. Still, anything better than a minor award would be a surprise.

Best Bets for the Los Alamitos Derby

Here are my plays ($30 in total)

$20 Exacta Thousand Words over Uncle Chuck = $20

$10 Exacta Thousand Words over Anneau d’Or = $10

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick, Thousand Words (5-2).

Our pick: Thousand Words (5-2)!

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: brian.zipse@wsn.com