Saturday's Grade 1 CashCall Futurity (Post time: 4:37 Pacific; TV: TVG) is the first of the final three Grade 1 stakes races on the 2011 calendar, with the Malibu Stakes will running on Monday, Dec. 26th, and the La Brea taking place on Saturday, Dec. 31st. The CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park, the final graded stakes race for juveniles on the year, has drawn a very nice field of 13 colts to contest the mile and a sixteenth trip. The total purse for the race is $750,000, of which the winner's share would go a long way to making a horse eligible for the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
Below are the entries and post positions for Saturday's Grade 1 CashCall Futurity.
UPDATED: Hollywood has released the morning line for the race, a morning line that doesn't peg any kind of favorite. Drill gets the de facto honors at odds of 9/2, but Liaison and Majestic City chime in at 5/1, with Sky Kingdom checking in at 6/1. Given the amount of success that Majestic City has enjoyed at Hollywood Park, 5/1 would be a decent price. Drill, on the other hand, would seem a tad optimistic at 9/2 given his poor form as of late. If getting back to synthetics can wake him up, perhaps that number is a steal. But he might just be hitting the wall of his juvenile season.
Bob Baffert's Drill, winner of the G1-Del Mar Futurity back on Sept. 7th, will attempt to get back on track after a pair of hugely disappointing races at Churchill Downs and Delta Downs. After finishing 2nd to Creative Cause in the G1-Norfolk at Santa Anita, Drill was a no-show in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and a lackluster 7th in the Delta Downs Jackpot. Saturday's race might be the perfect spot to get back on track as he'll return to a synthetic surface after three consecutive failure on dirt.
Majestic City, 13th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in his last start, will look to stay perfect on Hollywood Park's synthetic main track. After breaking his maiden back on May 21st, Majestic City went on to win the Proctor Memorial and the G3-Hollywood Juvenile Championship. His experience and success at Hollywood Park should be a valuable asset on Saturday.
If you don't like either of the two "name" horses, there are plenty of contenders to be found throughout the field:
- Handsome Mike just missed a win in the G3-Generouos last time out over the Hollywood Park turf course (2nd by 1 1/4 lenghts).
- Brother Francis was second to So Brilliant in the G2-Hollywood Park Prevue
- Sky Kingdom is fresh of a maiden breaking win at this same distance back on Nov. 25th.
- Blingo made a big run from the back of the pack to score a win as a first time starter on the Hollywood turf just three weeks ago. A son of Artie Schiller, Blingo will be trying synthetics for the first time.
- Rouson Sermon was 2nd to today's rival Liason in the ungraded Real Quiet back on Nov. 12th.
- Lisason comes in off of back-to-back victories in the Real Quiet and against Maiden Special Weight company.
- Cozzetti ships in from Churchill Downs after easily breaking his maiden over a sloppy and sealed track on Nov. 16th.
- Basmati finished 5th and 4th in the G1-Del Mar Futurity and G1-Norfolk before breaking his maiden on Oct. 28th. He last race saw him finish 2nd to Sabercat in the G3-Delta Downs Jackpot.
- Desormais ships in from France where he won a maiden race at 10 furlongs at Marseille back on Nov. 15th. Over the past five years, trainer Patrick Gallagher is 3-for-46 with foreign shippers (12 in-the-money). Every horse that has finished 5th or better in that sample did so on the turf, not on dirt of synthetics.
Saturday's card at Hollywood is pretty nice, from top to bottom. Besides the 13-horse CashCall Futurity, four other races drew ten or more starters, and three additional races drew at least eight. Additionally, the 7th race on the card has a first-time-starter named Bobby Flay in the field. The horse isn't owned by Flay, which is probably good since I haven't heard of too many people naming a horse after themselves, with Fusao Sekiguchi being the exception to the rule.