With 13 juveniles set to clash for the winner's share of the $750,000 CashCall Futurity, it is no wonder that there are several horses with attractive odds on the morning line. One such example and listed at 20-1 is Brother Francis. The James Cassidy trained chestnut colt brings only two career starts as experience into the grade one affair, and in fact is still a maiden to this point, but has shown much promise in his first couple of tries.
After breaking very slowly in his career debut, the son of Lion Heart made up all kinds of ground to rally from 12th and just miss by 3/4 of a length, while finishing 2nd in the 5 1/2 furlong maiden race at Santa Anita. The winner that day, Hodge, came back to finish 3rd in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue, which is the prep for tomorrow's big race. One of the horses that beat Hodge, was you guessed it, Brother Francis. Although not as far back as he was in the maiden, he once again broke a beat slow, before rallying well for second place. Beaten only a half-length in the Prevue, Brother Francis made up solid ground for owner/breeder Norman Cheng, but fell short of the highly regarded So Brilliant.
As a son of Lion Heart, Brother Francis will be attempting to follow in his sire's footsteps. Lion Heart used his strong early speed to win this race back in 2003, then called the Hollywood Futurity, before finishing 2nd in the following spring's Run for the Roses. While Lion Heart provides the speed necessary to compete in shorter races, Brother Francis should get plenty of distance ability from his female side. His dam Viaperveta, was a stakes winner in Germany, and is the daughter of Irish Classic winner Spectrum.
The CashCall Futurity offers the last chance for 2011 two-year-olds to get a grade one win, and this edition has attracted a well balanced and overflowing field. Brother Francis is only one of many potential winners in the race, but he has all the looks of a horse who will appreciate the added distance combined with the ability to compete at this level.