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© Scott Martinez
LOS ALAMITOS, CA—FEBRUARY 22, 2020—Multiple stakes winner Justamitch and Snowbound Superstar Handicap winner Ballast Point will face off in the featured 870-yard allowance test on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Justamitch will go after his second victory since returning to action last December. The son of Onebadshark has been sharp since coming back after a year-long layoff, as he finished a game second against tough Thoroughbreds racing for a $5,000 claiming price in his first race back. He returned with an 870-yard score against $10,000 claimers and then posted a solid second while facing 870-yard foes in his last start.
Justamitch's career resume includes a pair of stakes wins here at 870 yards. He won the Catalina Handicap in 2015 and the Truly A Pleasure Handicap in 2016. He finished third in the 2018 Wheatland Handicap to Big Champion, who would later win the $50,000 Albany Stakes at Golden Gate. Jesus Uranga trains Justamitch.
Thompson Racing and Paul Jones' Ballast Point, a 3-year-old gelding by Favorite Cartel, showed his distance talent when winning the Snowbound Superstar on December 8. Bred by Dr. Steve Burns, Ballast Point returned to finish second in the 550-yard Barbra B Handicap earlier this year against Yanque, who is considered the nation's top horse at the distance.
Ballast Point was second to Yanque in the Scott Lewis Handicap at 550 yards last year and was also a clear winner at 870 yards. He'll test his mettle once again at this distance and against a solid veteran like Justamitch.
"That was always the plan to run 870," Jones said of Ballast Point. "We've tried him at 550 first because the opportunities came up. He ran well going 550 and he loves 870."
From the strong barn of trainer Edward Freeman, Hardcore Troubador might be the horse to beat. He's coming off of an outstanding 1-¾ length victory at 870 yards in sharp time of :44.58.
Courtesy of www.losalamitos.com.