A long 2012 stakes season is nearly at a close with only a handful of graded events left on the calendar. This Saturday, Hollywood Park features the first of the final three Grade 1 races on the year, the CashCall Futurity at a mile and a sixteenth on the Cushion Track. (TV: TVG & HRTV; Post time: 7:35pm ET/4:35 PT) A deep and competitive field of eleven has drawn into the race, including four entries from trainer Bob Baffert. (Den's Legacy, Carving, Really Mr. Greely and Title Contender), and the runner-up from the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, He's Had Enough.
Below are the entries and post positions for the CashCall Futurity. Morning line odds will be updated when released.
|1||He's Had Enough||M. Gutierrez||D. O'Neill||9/2
|2||Den's Legacy||G. Gomez||B. Baffert||6/1
|3||Dirty Swagg||T. Baze||M. Cho||20/1
|4||Carving||M. Garcia||B. Baffert||8/1
|5||Fury Kapcori||J. Talamo||J. Hollendorfer||8/1
|6||Violence||J. Castellano||T. Pleetcher||7/2
|7||Simon Eyes||V. Espinoza||W. Ward||12/1
|8||Really Mr. Greely||M. Smith||B. Baffert||5/1
|9||Title Contender||R. Bejarano||B. Baffert||10/1
|10||Little Jerry||A. Gryder||R. Baltas||12/1
|11||Oxbow||C. Nakatani||D. Lukas||11/1
He's Had Enough was a tough luck second to likely Juvenile Eclipse winner Shanghai Bobby at the Breeders' Cup, but he's clearly a colt to watch as we roll into 2013. The trip note from the chart paints a pretty rough scene at Santa Anita:
HE's HAD ENOUGH saved ground under rating, took closer order nearing the half mile marker, steadied along past the five sixteenths marker, shuffled back soon after, advanced along the rail in upper stretch, shifted out and ranged up outside the winner while drifting out, was straightened with the right stick, dueled gamely from there but just could not get past.
Not exactly the trip you're looking for if you had money on He's Had Enough.
There is a lot to like about Doug O'Neill's He's Had Enough as we move towards the beginning of the 2013 Derby prep season. First, and somewhat of a negative when discussing Saturday's CashCall Futurity, He's Had Enough ran the best race of his life in his first try on dirt after a couple of poor efforts on turf and synthetic. That might not signal great things when running over the Cushion Track on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park, but it's definitely a positive if he moves on to the stakes program for three-year-old colts at Santa Anita next spring.
Second, his pedigree suggests that he should get better as he's asked to run further in his career. His dam, Amerilia, was a multiple winner over the lawn, but the truly interesting part of the pedigree is the success of his siblings. Half-brother Tiz True won four races while routing on dirt (and one on turf) and finished second or third an additional eight times while routing.
He's Had Enough is also a half to turf runner Kindergarden Kid, a multiple winner going long on the lawn and recently sixth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. In fact, if you look at the records of all of He's Had Enough's siblings, the success of the family is clearly on dirt routes or turf races, with a 0-for-11 record when sprinting on the dirt.
I think it's smart to take a bit of a stand against He's Had Enough in this race, if only due to his past struggles on non-dirt surface. That being said, it's possible this colt is simply starting to develop and understand the game, as opposed to just finding things better on dirt. At short odds, however, he's probably a horse to be skeptical of his chances.
Looking at other contenders in the Futurity:
- Dirty Swagg is a "on-again, off-again" kind of colt that scares me when looking at his past performance lines. His last race at Hollywood in the Real Quiet was quite good. His race prior on the dirt in the Front Runner was awful. He won a maiden race three back but bombed in a couple of races prior.
His synthetic form is certainly a plus in this race and he rolls into the Futurity off a a couple of sizzling morning movements.
- Carving has won three of four including a score over the Hollywood main track in the Real Quiet last time out.
- Violence ships into Southern California for Todd Pletcher off a pair of wins in New York, including the Grade 2 Nashua in his last start at Aqueduct. He's never touched synthetics so there's some question as to how he'll take to the going. His sire, Medaglia d'Oro is fairly average with runners over synthetic surfaces, as is his dam sire, Gone West.
- Really Mr Greely rolls into the Futurity off of a big-time win in the Grade 3 Hollywood Preview back on Nov. 22nd. I'm not sure how far he wants to carry that speed, at a minimum, a mile and a sixteenth would appear to be near his limits.
- Little Jerry (this name has to be a Seinfeld reference), a recent maiden breaker at Hollywood and a son of Candy Ride (ARG), one of my favorite sires for producing successful runners on dirt, synthetics and turf.
- And finally, it wouldn't be a Grade 1 race without an entry from trainer D. Wayne Lukas; Oxbow, a recent maiden breaker at Churchill Downs, rounds out the field in the far outside post position. Oxbow ran on the Poly at Keeneland back on Oct. 18th and was well-beaten after contesting the early pace. He'll need to improve on his synthetic form if he's to pull an upset at Hollywood.
The CashCall Futurity undercard features the second race for Eblouissante, the half-sister to Zenyatta. She'll run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track against a pretty soft group of four challengers. It seems like Eblouissante is already scaring away some of the competition.
Also on the undercardis the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup featuring a nice field of 10, including He's Had Enough's half-brother, Kindergarden Kid. Also in the field are Interaction (ARG), Optimizer, Bourbon Bay, Slim Shadey (GB), Grandeur (IRE) and Grassy. Not a bad field at all.
Optimizer has turned out to be a decent turf horse once D. Wayne Lukas stopped needlessly entering him in dirt races way over his head. He didn't do much in the Breeders' Cup Turf but rebounded to finish 5th of 12 in the G3-River City handicap at Churchill Downs. It's been a long season for Optimizer (this will be his 14th start of 2012), racing almost every month since January. He could probably use some time on the bench to freshen up.
Grandeur (IRE) came over the North America from England last fall, sat on the bench for over a year, and then scored in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby on Breeders' Cup weekend. Trainer Patrick Gallagher wheeled him back on three weeks rest to run in the G1-Hollywood Derby where he finished a length and a half behind Unbridled Command after losing a ton of ground coming off the far turn.
Slim Shakey started strong last January but saw his performance fade during the middle of the summer. Simon Callaghan freshened him up after running in the G1-Eddie Read in late July and he came off the bench to win the G2-John Henry Turf Cup at Santa Anita. He never threatened the top finishers in the Breeders' Cup Turf in his last start but this Saturday's race is his third off the layoff and he could be primed for a big effort.