Burgart Blog: Adequan® Los Alamitos Derby Challenge

Burgart Blog: Adequan® Los Alamitos Derby Challenge

Let’s take a closer look at the handicapping of this Bank of America Challenge stakes race.

Scoops Dynasty. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

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By Ed Burgart

Easily earning the top ratings in such key handicapping categories of class, speed figure and proven distance capability, Scoops Dynasty is the obvious choice to capture Sunday's Adequan® Los Alamitos Derby Challenge at the Southern California track. The winner earns a berth to the finals of the Adequan® Derby Challenge October 22 on Bank of America Challenge Championship night at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Scoops Dynasty's owners Ed and Von Zee McNells look to be in a strong position for a good outcome of the 10-horse field Derby Challenge on Sunday, since they also own My Game Plan, the second morning-line choice in the 400-yard dash.

Here is a look at the 10 entrants in post position order along with morning-line odds.

1. Wave Runner (30-1) would be a shocker based on her maiden form which shows she is winless in 10 starts. She most recently broke sharp when third in an allowance race won by Wasp, who earlier finished fifth in this year's Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes.

2. Mason Jar (20-1) is worth using to fill the trifecta and superfecta slots. She finished nicely for fifth after getting bumped several times after veering in at the start of her last fifth-place try versus allowance foes. But she was 2/100ths behind winner Lethal Blood, one of her competitors here.

3. Wave Burner (30-1) also would be surprising since he has lacked any late finishes in his two seventh- and sixth-place local tries in his last pair of starts. His two 2021 wins came against far easier competition in Canada at Century Mile.

4. Scoops Dynasty (1-1) is a class standout and the field's lone entrant with a victory at 400 yards.  Third in last year's John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2) on Bank of America Championship night, Scoops Dynasty last started three months ago with a rapid Grade 1 win in the $212,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby. After breaking slow in his first two starts last year when fourth twice, Scoops Dynasty is now quick early and strong late as evidenced by a terrific :9.41 final 1/8 in his last 400-yard win achieved in :19.47.
5. Thryve (10-1) appears a notch below his rivals. In his most recent start, he broke sharply, lugged inward midway and went straight late to finish third, a neck behind winner Terrific Chrome, whose prior fourth-place try came against restricted allowance foes.
6. Unavailable (8-1) certainly needs to be considered in the exotics. She has been second and third in two of her 400-yard efforts and had an uncomfortable trip when sixth in the Los Alamitos Oaks two months ago. After veering in to get bumped early, she then lugged inward prior to the 1/8-pole and was in tight quarters near the wire when intimidated by a lugging-out foe.
7. Lethal Blood (8-1) also is a big threat to complete exacta, trifecta and superfecta wagers. He beat a soft non-winners-of-two lifetime field in his last neck win, but finished with good interest at 330 yards when second two outs ago after altering course at the 1/8-pole where a rival crossed in front of him.

8. My Game Plan (5-2) has improved with each start and seeks his fourth straight victory. He easily won the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes in his last out 11 weeks ago when running 350 yards in :17.52 while completing a sharp :9.48 final 1/8. However, he earned an average Equibase speed figures of 81 due to the weakness of his competition. Also, maiden stakes favorite Rocket Seventeen broke through the gate and was a late scratch. My Game Plan gets a class test here.
9. Oughta See Her Fly (30-1) is winless in 11 tries and seems outclassed.

10. CM Blue By You (10-1) can also be an exotics threat and was second three outs back against winner Amadeus MV, who eventually finished sixth in this year's Los Alamitos Winter Derby. He figures to have clear sailing from this post draw.

Wagering Strategy: Scoops Dynasty's odds aren't enticing for a win wager, but he is clearly the class and horse to beat. 

I see Unavailable, Lethal Blood and My Game Plan as the best horses to use in key exotic wagering spots while also considering Mason Jar and CM Blue By You for lower placings. 

For exacta players, I suggest 4-6 and 4-7 tickets. For trifecta and superfecta players, I recommend 4 over 6,7,8 over 2,6,7,8,10 over 2,6,7,8,10.

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