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CashCall Futurity Preview: Baffert Times Four

 

The road to the 2013 Kentucky Derby makes its final major stop of 2012 this weekend, as we preview the last graded stakes of the Hollywood Park meeting, the G1 CashCall Futurity. The race is an annual preview of next season's Triple Crown contenders. A field of 11 will contest the $750,000 race for two-year-olds at a mile and one-sixteenth on the main track. The winner's share of the three-quarter million dollar pot use to virtually lock-up a spot in the Kentucky Derby the following spring, but the old graded stakes earnings system for entry into "The Run For The Roses" has been scrapped in favor of a “new” points system. The Cash Call Futurity has produced six Kentucky Derby champions and winners of 15 Triple Crown races since 1981.

 

What makes the Cash Call of more interest is the annual participation and sometimes domination by three-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer and Hall-of-Famer Bob Baffert. The trainer has won the Cash Call a record six times and will again be loaded for this year's race with a quartet of 2-year-olds. He sends CARVING, winner of 3 of 4 starts, most recently in the Real Quiet Stakes. TITLE CONTENDER, a maiden winner who was last seen leading the Breeders' Cup Juvenile field to the far turn before fading to eighth. REALLY MR GREELY, a wire to wire winner in last month's G3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes, is also in the race, as well as DEN'S LEGACY winner of the Generous Stakes here at Hollywood Park last out.

 

Todd Pletcher is another conditioner who annually possesses a bevy of 2-year-olds. Pletcher is stocked with at least a half-dozen horses, including Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby, that will attempt the journey to Louisville. A member of that contingent shipped in for this race is VIOLENCE. The colt followed up his winning Saratoga debut back in August with a sharp score in the G2 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct last month.

 

2012 Kentucky Derby trainer, Doug O'Neill, brings HE'S HAD ENOUGH. The 2-yr old showed very little going into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, yet nearly emerged the winner following all sorts of traffic problems.

 

Others to Watch:

 

FURY KAPCORI, runner-up in the Real Quiet Stakes, was also a nice looking stakes winner in the one-mile Charlie Palmer Futurity at Fresno. He hails from the barn of Jerry Hollendorfer. DIRTY SWAGG, trained by Myung Kwon Cho, had a good third-place effort in that same Real Quiet Stakes, but the maiden winner has been well beaten in two previous attempts in graded company.

 

Another participant from the Real Quiet Stakes, 4th place finisher SIMON EYES, represents the barn of trainer Wesley Ward. The effort was the juvenile's first venture going a route of ground.

 

LITTLE JERRY made his racing debut at this very distance here last month and turned it into a winning effort for conditioner Richard Baltas.

 

D.Wayne Lukas sends OXBOW, a seven-furlong maiden winner last month at Churchill Downs.

 

Adding to the uniqueness of the Cash Call is the artificial Cushion Track material that makes up the main track at Hollywood Park. However, any plans to take the Southern California road to Kentucky means racing over a conventional dirt surface as Santa Anita offers up their winter prep races over dirt leading up to the Derby. Therefore, any dirt-challenged winner of the Cash Call will likely be exposed sooner or prepare for the Kentucky Derby over synthetic surfaces at Keeneland and/or Turfway Park.

 

No matter, one potential star will enter the Hollywood Park winner's circle Saturday victorious in the Cash Call and the winning horse is sure to move up near the top of many Kentucky Derby 2013 lists of contenders. Winter Future Books will be adjusted and for some, rosy dreams will begin to bloom. 

 

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Older Comments about CashCall Futurity Preview: Baffert Times Four...

I like these best: 5,9,4,2
I feel He's Had Enough & Violence are wild cards having never raced on Cushion track. They both may do better at Santa Anita. Three of four Baffert runners have all won at Hollywood with Carving at the Cash Call distance. He's my pick.
If this race were at Santa Anita I'd be more excited about Violence.
Baffert has won six ... he's had enough. I'll go with He's Had Enough in this one!

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Hi, my name is Nick Costa a.k.a. Trackman. As for my "nickname" of Trackman, it came about the following way: When people, either friends or family would inquire as to where I was going, my reply was always the same, "I'm going to the track man." I was born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York, about a 30 minute drive from the racetrack, in Fort Erie, Canada.  I was five years old the first time I attended the races. My father, who was a regular at the track, took me to Fort Erie. My first recollections were of just running up and down the stairs to and from our grandstand seats and the walking ring. Of course, after viewing the horses, I would run back up the stairs, and tell my father who to bet. He would look at me quizzically, and then proceed to place a $2 dollar wager on my selection for me. Through the years, with continuous trips to Fort Erie, and also to Woodbine and the now defunct Greenwood, my father would take the time to explain all the information in the Daily Racing Form. After I learned the basics of handicapping, I never met a racing Form I didn't like. If I had spent as much time on my studies as I did reading the Form, I probably could be sitting on the Supreme Court. Those early horse playing days have  lasted into my adulthood, as I still play the races today on a regular basis. But now I have added a couple of new dimensions. First, I officially became a licensed thoroughbred race horse owner back in 2000, fulfilling a dream come true. Fort Erie, where I mostly play the races and race my horses, is still my favorite track. It's my home track, where I fell in love with everything about the sport. In addition to the tracks mentioned that I visited with my father, I have graced the grounds of Churchill
Downs (Derby 134 and several Breeders' Cups), Saratoga, Mountaineer, Gulfstream Park, Sam Houston Race Track, Presque Isle, Monmouth Park and Belmont Park. Second, I started to write a few years ago when I started my own blog, called Triple Crown Chase.


The blog was established to provide some personal insight about the horses and trainers who compete against one another in the 3 yr old prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby. I preview and review the preps races and extend coverage to include the Preakness and Belmont. Last year, my blog previewed the Canadian Triple Crown races for the first time. The second leg, The Prince Of Wales Stakes, is run at my home track of Fort Erie. I am honored and thrilled to be on board with Horse Racing Nation and I want to thank everyone for their support.