Solomini’s Wynstock noses out Cornell in wild Los Alamitos Derby

Sun, June, 2024

Wynstock returned to the scene of his greatest triumph, last year’s Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), to win an exhilarating running of the June 29 Los Alamitos Derby by a nose over stablemate Cornell.

The Los Alamitos Derby was formerly known as the Swaps S. when it was run at Hollywood Park.

With Tapalo intent on getting the early lead, Wynstock settled into second with his Bob Baffert-trained stablemate Cornell close behind in third around the first turn. On the backstretch, Tapalo opened up by some seven lengths after a half mile. Meanwhile, Wynstock began to fade going into the final bend and was fourth, some eight lengths back when the field turned for home.

The early pace took its toll on Tapalo and he gave the lead up to Cornell with a furlong to go. Wynstock was also surging up the inside and the two Baffert horses hit the wire on nearly even terms, with the photo going to Wynstock by a nose.

“I thought Wynstock’s only chance was to be on the lead, but he runs well here because he likes a firmer surface,” said Baffert. “He could not make the lead, so [jockey Kyle Frey] just grabbed him and [Tapalo] was out there by himself, and I knew Cornell was going to make a run. Down the stretch, I thought Cornell was going to cut the corner, but he stayed outside and [Tapalo] was drifting him out and then I saw a horse flying on the inside and I thought, ‘Son of a gun,’ and then I realized ‘Oh, that’s my horse, he came back.’ We know Wynstock has a lot of talent. It’s mental with him. It’s nice to come here and win this race, especially for [Los Alamitos owner] Doc [Dr. Ed Allred]. It’s nice to hang with him and reminisce and tell old stories.”

Wynstock is owned by Allred and Jack Liebau, who was president of Hollywood Park. Wynstock has won three of eight lifetime starts and earned $243,740. Wynstock was bred in New York by Empire Equines, LLC and sold to his owners for $700,000 at the 2023 OBS Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Wynstock is one of Solomini’s five stakes horses and three stakes winners in 2024. Currently ranked third on this year’s New York sire list and in the top 10 on the Second-Crop sire list, Solomini stands the 2024 season for $7,500 live foal, stands and nurses.

Wynstock and jockey Kyle Frey, right, outleg Cornell (Edwin Maldonado), left, to win the $100,000 Los Alamitos Derby, Saturday, June 29, 2024 at Los Alamitos Race Course, Cypress CA. © BENOIT PHOTO