Dabster Best Late in Los Alamitos Special


Dabster wins the Los Alamitos Special

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum's Dabster got the trip and finished like it to win his second straight stakes Sept. 16 in the $100,000 Los Alamitos Special.

With a stalking trip behind runaway early leader Little Scotty in the 1 1/4-mile test, the 4-year-old Curlin  colt took command in the second turn under jockey Joe Talamo. The Bob Baffert-trained Dabster got a brief challenge from Divisor in the stretch, but extended his advantage from one length to two in the final furlong to the wire. Colonist finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Divisor.

The final time of 2:00.45 set a track record for the distance, which is rarely run at Los Alamitos Race Course. The previous track record was set by Wings of Mojave (2:03.57) in a starter allowance in September of 2015.

"He's a real cool horse—very gutty. It's fun to ride one like that," Talamo said. "I was trying to give him a breather on the turn, and when they came to him in the stretch ... he did all the work."

Little Scotty immediately shot to the lead out of the gate and opened up a four-length advantage through a quarter in :23.01 and a half in :47.39. Dabster raced in second, but by the time Little Scotty ran six furlongs in 1:12.03, the margin slimmed to a half-length and Dabster took it from there.

"We thought one or two of them might go, but if nobody wanted the lead we were going to go," said Baffert assistant Mike Marlow. "It set up well. (Talamo) was smart. He let (Little Scotty) wing, but stayed in contention. We thought he would like the distance. He's a big, long-striding horse who can gallop all day."

After Colonist came Ya Gotta Wanna, Twentytwentyvision, Engram, and Little Scotty, to complete the order of finish.

The Los Alamitos Special victory followed his first stakes score in the Aug. 22 Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar. Prior to that Dabster finished third in the San Diego Handicap (G2), and now has $252,425 in earnings. Bred in Kentucky by G. Watts Humphrey Jr., Susan Keller, Victoria Oliver, and G. Watts Humphrey III, out of the A.P. Indy mare On a Roll, Dabster was a $1 million purchase out of the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in 2016.