Photo: Hollywood Park
Ronin Dax, hoping that home cooking tastes better
than two disappointing trips east, will return to the Southern California
circuit for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park December 18,
trainer and co-owner Bobby Troeger confirmed on Thursday.
“Mike Smith will work him here Friday,” said
Troeger of the Hall of Fame jockey who has taken a call to ride the gray/roan
son of Tapit for the first time in the Grade I test at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion
Ronin Dax broke his maiden at first asking at
one mile on turf August 25 at Del
Mar, then finished fifth in two subsequent starts – the Summer Stakes Sept. 18
at Woodbine and the Iroquois Stakes Oct. 31 at Churchill Downs.
“The turf was soft at Woodbine, and he got rank
in the Iroquois,” said Troeger. “He made two big runs in the Iroquois and hit a
“If I could get him to make one run at the end
of the race, he should be okay,” continued Troeger of the Kentucky-bred colt.
“When he broke his maiden, he came from behind, which is what I would like to
see him do again.”
Ronin Dax should find himself behind an honest
pace in a large field, including stakes-winning pacesetters Comma to the Top
and J P’s Gusto.
A field of 13 or 14 is shaping up for the 30th
running of the race. Probable are Real Quiet and Generous stakes winner Comma
to the Top (Corey Nakatani), Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Del Mar
Futurity winner J P’s Gusto (Joe Talamo), Ronin Dax (Smith), a Bob
Baffert-trained duo of Awesome Patriot (Victor Espinoza) and Prayer for Relief
(Alonso Quinonez), a Doug O’Neill-conditioned pair of Boxeur des Rues (Julien
Leparoux) and High Level Jeff (Joel Rosario), Florida-based invaders Gourmet
Dinner (Sebastian Madrid) and Rustler Hustler (Ramon Dominguez), English import
Crimson China (Garrett Gomez), Clubhouse Ride (Patrick Valenzuela), Industry
Leader (Rafael Bejarano) and Riveting Reason. Slammer Time heads a short list
of possible starters.
Boxeur des Rues worked five furlongs in a bullet
59.20 seconds Thursday to the satisfaction of O’Neill. The English import
finished a closing fifth in the Generous in his second United States
start for owner J. Paul Reddam, who is also co-owner of High Level Jeff.
CashCall loan company owner Reddam sponsors the race.
Eight of the 13 probables would have to be
supplemented to the race.