The 8th Running of the Bertrando Stakes
Saturday, June 25, 2022
LA Race #2 $100.000 1-Mile Dirt
CA-Bred 3+ 119/123 Lbs (plus penalties)
Track Record-1:33.34 (Alpha Ultimo-2005)
Stakes Record-1:34.90 (Odd Trek-2020)
The Saturday feature at LA will be the 8th running of the Bertrando Stakes for CA-bred horses 3-and-up. The one-mile contest only drew four as we have two sophomores and two older gents carrying 119 and 123 pounds, respectively, under the weight-for-age conditions. In an oddity here at HRP, 75% of the runners are fully intact with Blamethespeedparty being the only gelding in the field. Here’s the skinny on the four runners who will compete in the Bertrando:
#1 A Boy And His Dog (Choppy Inc./J.J. Hernandez 123): Multiple stakes-winning 5yo has just missed in his three starts this year, including a G3 3rd in his latest effort. Was only beaten a quarter-length in that one and is drawn advantageously as he stretches out for the first time this season. Hard-knocker has plenty of early foot and has shown an ability to rate, if neccessary. Has to beat a good one on the square and will be giving five pounds to the sophomores, but he’s a contender.
#2 Command Me (Nakamura Stables/Mario Gutierrez 123): 6th in this same event last year, he’s in much better form this time around. Hasn’t won yet this season, but he seems to be approaching a peak performance. All three of his wins have come when on/near the pace, but he has shown the ability to pass horses. Faces the same weight scenario as the rail-horse, but he’s the most proven horse going two-turns in the race. The main contender.
#3 Blamethespeedparty (Martyparty/A. Cedillo 118): Our first sophomore, and the only gelding in the quartet, this fellas is an earner with eight ITM finishes from nine starts. That one poor effort came going this trip, but he was close to a hot pace from an outer draw so that is easily forgiven. Latest two efforts saw him rally nicely from well off of the pace and their looks to be ample speed to set that rally up in here. Feels like this one is banging on the door and Saturday may just be when he decides to kick it in. The top pick.
#4 Knoblauch (Royalty Stables/E. Maldonado 118): Still a maiden after four tries, the conditioner saw a short field for a nice purse and decided to cast his lot in here. Besides, the race was already assigned to the author and there had to be a fourth entry to go. He’s a nice enough horse, but he’ll have to really, really step his game up to best the three horses drawn inside of him. He only has to beat one to turn a profit, but that probably explains a lot about his trainer.
Final Analysis: Feels like 3-2/2-3, and that’s how we’ll play the Bertrando Stakes at LA. Good luck, everyone!