Photo: Hollywood Park
Comma to the Top seeks to punctuate a banner Autumn
Meet by turning a question mark into an exclamation point with a victory in the
$750,000 CashCall Futurity Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Rising from a maiden win in $50,000 claiming company
to a graded stakes winner, Comma to the Top seeks his fifth straight victory in
his first outing in Grade I company. Thirteen 2-year-olds are expected to
compete in the 1 1/16-mile race on Cushion Track.
Comma to the Top, a Florida-bred gelding by Bwana
Charlie, aims to complete an unprecedented “Triple Crown” sweep at the meet
after scores in the Real Quiet Stakes on the main track and Grade III Generous
Stakes on turf in his previous two outings.
Trainer Peter Miller again expects to see Comma to
the Top in his customary position of setting the pace under Corey Nakatani.
“He’s the speed in my mind,” said Miller after the gelding worked five furlongs
in 59.40 seconds Sunday. “He could rate, but I think he’s faster than the other
Miller explained the name. “One of the owners’ young
kids was learning to write and couldn’t say apostrophe,” explained Miller.
“Comma to the Top is slang for apostrophe.”
Miller, a 44-year-old native of Los Angeles, hopes to cap a sizzling meet
with a Futurity victory. Miller has recorded nine firsts, two seconds and nine
thirds with 26 starters for a winning percentage of 35.
Nakatani, a 40-year-old veteran, seeks his first
Futurity victory after four seconds and three thirds in previous efforts.
A field of 13 is probable for the 30th
running of the Futurity: Comma to the Top (Nakatani), J.P.’s Gusto (Joe
Talamo), Clubhouse Ride (Patrick Valenzuela), Industry Leader (Rafael
Bejarano), Awesome Patriot (Victor Espinoza), High Level Jeff (Joel Rosario),
Boxeur des Rues (Julien Leparoux), Gourmet Dinner (Sebastian Madrid), Rustler
Hustler (Ramon Dominguez), Crimson China (Garrett Gomez), Riveting Reason
(Alonso Quinonez), Ronin Dax (Mike Smith) and Slammer Time (David Flores).
Comma to the Top was joined on the Sunday work tab by
Awesome Patriot, who worked five panels in 59.80 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob
Baffert, the leader in Futurity wins with five.
Three other candidates worked here Saturday: Industry
Leader, one mile in 1:39.20; Slammer Time, six furlongs in 1:14; and Riveting
Reason, five furlongs in 1:00.60.
Gourmet Dinner and Rustler Hustler are scheduled to
be flown here Tuesday from Florida.
Gourmet Dinner won the rich Delta Jackpot Stakes in Louisiana in his last start for trainer
Steve Standridge. Rustler Hustler has won his last two stakes on turf at
Belmont and Monmouth for conditioner Rick Dutrow.
a recent acquisition by Team Valor International, is scheduled to arrive here
Thursday from England.
The Giant’s Causeway colt has won one of two
starts on all-weather tracks there.