The last race of 2012 as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series takes place on December 15 in the 32nd running of the $750,000 Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at BetFair Hollywood Park.
The top four in the race will get precious points as part of the new points based system to qualify for the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
The 2012 CashCall Futurity will feature 11 two year old colts running 1 1/16 miles on the all weather surface.
1. He’s Had Enough – Jockey Mario Gutierrez – Trainer Doug O’Neill – Owner Reddam Racing LLC
He gave everything he had to compete with heavy favorite Shanghai Bobby in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He sat back early, and was given the go ahead by jockey Mario Gutierrez on the far turn. It looked as if he would overtake the heavy favorite, but Bobby dug in and prevailed by 1/2 length. The Tapit colt broke his maiden in his first attempt at Del Mar on August 12. He had one horse beat out of the 10 horse field at the far turn. He made a serious move when they hit the top of the stretch. He was caught 5-wide but was able to pass the entire field en route to a 1/2 length victory. This going 6 1/2 furlongs. He switched to turf next time out in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Stakes on September 5. Once again, he sat far back early but unlike his first race, he didn’t make up as much ground finishing 6th beaten 2 1/2 lengths. He was shipped to Keeneland for the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity and ran a disappointing 11th on the all weather surface. If this race has the anticipated speed, he should be a force late once again.
2. Den’s Legacy – Jockey Garrett Gomez – Trainer Bob Baffert – Owners Westrock Stables LLC
The two year old Medaglia d’Oro colt will be running for the 8th time this season. He’s finished 1st or 2nd in five of the seven races. He broke his maiden third time out at Del Mar on the cushion, finished 5th in the Front Runner Stakes on dirt, 2nd in the Zuma Beach and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview Stakes on turf before winning the Generous Stakes (G3) at Hollywood Park going a mile on the turf. He’s back to try the all weather again this weekend. He’ll sit just off the pace no matter if it is quick or moderate. Gomez should have him ready to make a move as they hit the turn for home. He’s been working really well in the morning and we expect a solid performance.
3. Dirty Swagg – Jockey Tyler Baze – Trainer Myung Kwon Cho – Owner Myung Kwon Cho
He has just one win in six races. The Street Hero colt finished 5th in his debut after a slow start. Then jumped up to run in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (G3) and finished 7th after having a slow start once again. Back down in maiden company, it looked as if he would make a run on the far turn and was steadied quite hard. He finished 5th. Finally getting a good trip all around, he broke his maiden against eight others at Del Mar. He did not run well at all on dirt in the Front Runner Stakes. He finished a lackluster 9th. He ran a solid 3rd beaten a length in the Real Quiet after going 4 and 5 wide on the final turn. So which horse will show up on Saturday? Will he get a good trip? He has posted back to back bullet works coming into this race. He should go off at decent odds.
4. Carving – Jockey Martin Garcia – Trainer Bob Baffert – Owners Natalie Baffert and Bode Miller
Won his debut going five furlongs at Del Mar in August. Came back to win the C. B. Afflerbaugh Stakes at Fairplex Park in September. 17 days later he ran a distant 4th in the Front Runner Stakes at Santa Anita after holding the lead for the first 3/4 mile. He bounced back to win the Real Quiet Stakes at BetFair Hollywood Park on November 10 going 1 1/16 miles. This time, Martin Garcia had him sit just off the pace and made a late move as they came down the stretch. That should be the plan here as well.
5. Fury Kapcori – Jockey Joe Talamo – Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer – Owners R. Awtrey, J. Hollendorfer & G. Todaro
This son of Tiznow got off to a bad start in his opener at Hollywood and couldn’t recover finishing 8th. Hollendorfer sent him back North and was an easy winner in a special weight race. He won again at Fresno taking the Charlie Palmer Futurity by 1 1/4 length. He was shipped back to Southern California and ran a hard fought 2nd to Carving in the Real Quiet Stakes. He was steadied at 7/8 marker and actually had the lead for a short time at the top of the stretch. He finished 1/2 length behind Carving and 1/2 length in front of Dirty Swagg. He’s now shown he belongs and if he gets a good trip, he and Talamo will be right there in the thick of things once again.
6. Violence – Jockey Javier Castellano – Trainer Todd Pletcher – Owner Black Rock Stables, LLC
He followed up his debut win at Saratoga in August with a strong win in the Nashua Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on November 4. The Medaglia d’Oro colt sat back in 4th and made a strong move at the top of the stretch. He quickly took over the lead and was guided to a two lengths victory by Javier Castellano. The decision to ship him out West show the confidence they have in this colt, as well as, how important the purse and points are from this race.
7. Simon Eyes – Jockey Victor Espinoza – Trainer Wesley Ward – Owners Ice Wine Stable
Ward has had this colt all over the country so far. A different track in each of his first four starts. His debut was a 2nd beaten 13 lengths to Bern Identity at Belmont Park in June. At Saratoga in August, he finished a well beaten 8th after an awkward and bobbled start. He easily broke his maiden at Keeneland in October before shipping to California where he ran 4th in the Real Quiet Stakes. This is a good horse who should only get better with experience.
8. Really Mr Greely – Jockey Mike Smith – Trainer Bob Baffert – Owners K. Watson, M. Pegram and P. Weitman
Winner in 2 of his 3 races so far including his latest the seven furlongs Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) at Hollywood on November 22. He missed in his debut finishing 4th in a special weight race at Santa Anita., then came back to dominate a field of five others going six furlongs in a maiden $100,000. He’s shown the ability to take the early lead and rate if need be. Nice options to have as he looks to go beyond seven furlongs for the first time.
9. Title Contender – Jockey Rafael Bejarano – Trainer Bob Baffert – Owners Gary and Mary West
After finishing 3rd in his six furlongs debut after a bobbled start, the Pulpit colt went gate to wire on September 29 at Santa Anita to win by 2 3/4 lengths. He finished the one mile in a final time of 1:37.02. He went to the lead in the BC Juvenile, posted quick fractions and faded to finish 8th. It’ll be interesting to see if he tries the front running style again or will they try and rate him. Good to see Bejarano getting the call on a Baffert horse after being in the doghouse for his ride on Game on Dude in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
10. Little Jerry – Jockey Aaron Gryder – Trainer Richard Baltas – Owners Jaam Racing, Inc. and Riley Racing Stable
Not much on this Candy Ride (ARG) colt expect for his impressive last to first win in his debut on November 18 at Hollywood Park. He sat 8th and last for the first 3/4 mile, then Tyler Baze had him move on the far turn. He was 6th at the top of the stretch and won by a neck. Despite slower fractions early on, he was able to make the bold move and complete the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.43. Baze elects to ride Dirty Swagg in here and Gryder now gets the call.
11. Oxbox – Jockey Corey Nakatani – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas – Owners Bluegrass Hall LLC
It took four tries for the Awesome Again colt to break his maiden. He had attempts at Saratoga (7th), Keeneland (4th) and Churchill Downs (3rd and 1st). He’s had the early lead in every race and was finally able to hang on to win last out. He didn’t have any serious threat to go with him early in that race and had plenty left to win won by almost five lengths. He’ll have some company in here and this will be his first try going long. It’ll be a tough task.
Bob Baffert has four in the field with a 36% chance to win. He’s always a threat in the big California races. Three of the four are coming off stakes wins. Todd Pletcher has a solid chance with Violence. The dynamic duo of O’Neill and Gutierrez with He’s Had Enough should come in as the favorite after his narrow loss to Shanghai Bobby. The horse who many feel is a lock to win the Eclipse Award for top two year old male.
IN OTHER ACTION THIS WEEKEND
A field of 10 will do battle in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes going 1 1/2 miles on the turf at BetFair Hollywood Park on Saturday. The three year old gelding Grandeur (IRE) will take on the older boys after winning his American debut in the Twilight Derby (G2) at Santa Anita and finishing 2nd in the Hollywood Derby (G1) at Hollywood. Originally brought over under the guidance of trainer Jeremy Noseda, the youngster is now in the Pat Gallagher barn. The five year old Peter Miller trained Kindergarden Kid, winner of the Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland and 6th place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Turf will be one of the older horses to keep the three year old under wraps. Slim Shadey (GB), winner of the John Henry Turf Championship Stakes (G2) and 8th place finisher in the BC Turf will be another.