We head out to the West Coast for the $100,000 Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes for 3-year-olds and up (fillies & mares) over 1 1/16 miles on the dirt at Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress, California. The field of 8 will go to gate for race 8 on the 9-race card with an approximate post time of 6:58 p.m. ET.
#2, Mongolian Humor, Joe Talamo, 9-2
She won two straight August races at Del Mar and finished fifth in the Grade 2 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29. In her last start at Keeneland, she finished runner-up by a head in an allowance optional claiming race on Oct. 24.
In her lone race at Los Alamitos, she finished fourth in a starter allowance race on July 6. This will be her second graded stakes appearance. Joe Talamo picks up the mount for trainer Vladimir Cerin and maybe he can guide her back to her August performances. The pick.
#4, Mirth, Edwin Maldonado, 5-2
Mirth has finished in the money in four of her last six starts, highlighted by a Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes triumph by 1 ¼ lengths on the downhill turf at Santa Anita on Sept. 28, two starts back. In her last start, she finished a disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 11. This will be her third straight graded stakes start. The morning-line favorite will be tough to beat with Edwin Maldonado in the saddle for trainer Philip D’Amato, but we will try. Runner-up.
#5, Lady Suebee, Tyler Baze, 3-1
After her first win of the year, a commanding 5 ½ length win in the Tranquility Lakes Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 23, she came back in her last leading by two lengths at the ½ mile marker and gave way down the stretch to finish a disappointing 10th in the Swingtime Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 5. Which will show up? This will be her third graded stakes try and her first since a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Monrovia Stakes at Santa Anita on May 26. Tyler Baze takes the mount for trainer John Sadler. I think that 10th-place showing was a mirage and she will be back on the improve today. Contender.
#3, Mo See Cal, Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1
She has finished in the money in five of her seven starts (1-2-2) this year, having won an allowance optional claiming race by 5 ¼ lengths at Santa Anita on Oct. 10. After that, she finished sixth in the Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Nov. 2 and followed that up in her last start with a third-place finish in the Betty Grable Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 17. Drayden Van Dyke gets the call from trainer Peter Miller for the first time since a fifth-place finish in an allowance optional claiming race at Santa Anita on Feb. 7, five starts ago. Could surprise. In the mix.
By Lou Monaco