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Comma To The Top Works for CashCall Futurity

Hollywood Park logo.
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 horses.”

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.

Crimson China, 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.



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