to the Top completed a memorable Autumn meet, collecting the biggest win of his
career with a decisive score in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity on a rainy
Saturday at Hollywood
victory in the Grade I was the third stakes success in six weeks for the
2-year-old Bwana Charlie gelding. It was also the fifth win in a row for the Florida bred, who could have been claimed for $40,000
when he debuted May 20 at Hollywood
1 ¾ length decision over J P’s Gusto and eight others came after the start of
the Futurity was delayed for about 30 minutes. The reason was Comma to the Top
needed a replacement shoe for his right hind leg.
the 30th renewal of the Futurity was underway, Comma to the Top and
jockey Corey Nakatani tracked the pace set by longshot High Level Jeff, took
command around the turn and was not menaced in the final quarter of a mile.
by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara and trained by Peter Miller,
Comma to the Top has won six of 10 and earned $551,600.
in the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity Sept. 8 in his only previous appearance
in a Grade I, Comma to the Top ran the 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in
1:44.18. The win was the first in the race for Nakatani and the second Grade I
score of Miller’s career. The trainer had previously won the 2007 Del Mar
Debutante with Set Play.
to Saturday, Comma to the Top’s wins at the meet had come in the Real Quiet
Stakes Nov. 6 and the grassy Generous Stakes Nov. 27.
of the Stormy Atlantic mare Maggies Storm, Comma to the Top, the 5-2 favorite,
returned $7, $4.60 and $3.40.
two-time stakes winner at Hollywood
Park, J P’s Gusto
finished 3 ¼ lengths in front of 19-1 outsider Clubhouse Ride. Runner-up in two
of his three races at the Futurity distance, J P’s Gusto paid $4.80 and $3.80.
The show price on Clubhouse Ride was $6.40.
Jackpot winner Gourmet Dinner checked in fourth, a head behind Clubhouse Ride,
then came Riveting Reason, Rustler Hustler, Slammer Time, Ronin Dax, Industry
Leader and High Level Jeff.
that was something’’ said Nakatani. “To run like that on top of everything that
happened…he’s just an amazing little horse. We’ve been real patient with him
because at Del
Mar we knew he could go long.
started moving in the right direction as soon as he got two turns. It seems
like he’s a young Lava Man. To me, he acts like it. He kicks away
when you need him to. He’s a typical high cruising speed horse.
move on the turn felt great. It feels like you’re on a Ferrari. All this
adversity is a plus because he handled it like it was just another day. Right
now I would say he is one of the best 2-year-olds I’ve ridden.’’
was apologetic for the delay and also very happy with the outcome.
horse is really good,’’ said Miller. “I told Corey that if someone sends he can
sit. I worked him off horses the other day and he did great. And Nak just rode
him perfect. When he made that move at the three-eighths pole, I’ve never had a
feeling like that.
all the drama it’s just unbelievable. I do want to apologize to all the other
owners and trainers. It was out of our control.’’
he did not threaten aboard Industry Leader in the day’s main event, Rafael
Bejarano won four times, giving him seven victories in two days. He is second
in the standings, trailing defending champion Joel Rosario 46-35.
Autumn meet concludes Sunday. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
final stakes race of the 29-day season is the $75,000-added On Trust Handicap.
Amazombie and six other California
breds will meet at 7 ½ furlongs on Cushion Track.