Los Alamitos kicks off LA County Fair meet Friday

Los Alamitos Race Course kicks off its 2023 L.A. County Fair meet on Friday with an eight-race program. The first post for the nine-day season is 1 p.m.

The meet is highlighted by three stakes races worth a total of $425,000 – the $200,000 Grade II Great Lady M., the $125,000 Los Alamitos Derby and $100,000 Bertrando Stakes. Racing will be conducted Friday-Sunday the first week, Saturday-Tuesday the second week and Saturday-Sunday the final weekend.

The first stakes race of the meet is Saturday’s Bertrando Stakes, restricted to 3-year-olds and up who were bred or sired in California. The mile race attracted a field of six and is the final race on a nine-race card.

Desmond Doss, who’s won the past two runnings of the Bertrando, returns for a try at a hat trick. He won the 2021 edition as the 8-5 favorite and was the overwhelming 1-2 choice last summer. He’ll try to become the first three-time winner of the race. Soi Phet also won the Bertrando twice in 2014 and again in 2018 as a 10-year-old.

The 7-year-old son of Grazen, trained by Steve Miyadi, is winless in four starts since last year’s Bertrando. He’s won seven of 23 lifetime races for earnings of $454,911. He’s owned by Nick Alexander, who will also be represented in the race by Lovesick Blues.

The Great Lady M., a 6½-furlong race for fillies and mares, will be run July 4 and the stakes trio will be capped by the Los Alamitos Derby for 3-year-olds on July 8.

The wagering menu includes a pair of $1 Pick 4’s on races 2-5 and the final four races on the card, a $2 Pick Six and the popular 50-cent Pick Five that includes a reduced takeout rate of 14% on the first five races.

The Pick Six will include the traditional 70-30 split, with 70% of the pool going to tickets with six winners and the remaining 30% given to tickets with five of six winners.

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