A field of eleven 2-year-old Thoroughbreds will go to the starting gate today in the 32nd running of the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (G1) at Betfair Hollywood Park. Trainer Todd Pletcher’s Violence ships in from the east coast and has been made the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite.
Violence is undefeated in two starts and he comes into today’s race with a 2-length win in the Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct on November 12 where he showed good energy and speed earning a 96 Brisnet Speed Figure.
I like the way he pulled away from the field in the final strides and his time of 1:35.32 for the one-mile contest is right in the sweet spot that I like to see for young Thoroughbred colts that may have potential to be competitive on the Kentucky Derby Trail.
Violence’s sire, Medaglia d’Oro, was a pretty good middle-distance runner with seven wins and five second-place finishes in 14 route races. He finished second in his only start as a 2-year-old but as a 3-year-old he won the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and finished second in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) en route to the 2002 Derby where he finished in fourth place.
Gone West, the damsire of Violence, also was a competitive middle-distance runner. As a 2-year-old, he won a 7-furlong maiden race at Belmont Park and finished the season with a 1-1-1 record in four starts.
As a 3-year-old, Gone West won the one-mile Gotham Stakes (G2) and Withers Stakes (G2). He finished second in the 7-furlong Hutcheson Stakes (G3) and finished third in the 8½-furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G3).
If Violence repeats the form of his previous two races, he’ll be tough to beat.
He’s Had Enough (9-2) was my long shot pick in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) and I like him in this race too.
I thought that He’s Had Enough had the talent to be competitive in the juvenile and he showed a lot of grit and determination to only lose by a head to the undefeated Shanghai Bobbby who’ll most likely be selected as the 2012 champion 2-year-old.
In all four of his previous starts, He’s Had Enough has shown that he is an immature colt but if he continues to move forward off of his performance in the juvenile he’ll be tough in today’s race.
Tapit, the sire of He’s Had Enough, was undefeated in two starts as a 2-year-old and won the Laurel Futurity (G3). As a 3-year-old, Tapit was troubled by a lung infection for much of the season but did win the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) en route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Dixieland Band, the damsire of He’s Had Enough, was a good runner that was competitive in sprint and route races and he also was the damsire of Kentucky Derby winners Monarchos and Street Sense.
A long shot I like in this race is Oxbow (15-1) who ships in from Churchill Downs for Hall of Fame Trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
Oxbow is stepping up in class and he’s never run in a route race. But he’s been improving with each start and finally broke his maiden by 4¾-lengths in a 7-furlong sprint at Churchill Downs on November 25.
Oxbow earned a 90 speed figure for that performance and if he continues to move forward he should be competitive in today’s race.
His sire, Awesome Again, was an outstanding route racer with nine wins and one third-place finish in 11 starts and he was the Classic Champion winner of the Canadian Queen’s Plate Stakes.
Cee’s Tizzy, the damsire of Oxbow, was a lightly raced runner that was competitive in sprint and route races. He sired the exceptional router Tiznow who compiled an 8-4-2 record in 14 route races and was the two-time winner of the 10-furlong Breeders’ Cup Classic Stakes (G1). Cee’s Tizzy is also the grandsire of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Da’ Tara.
Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has won the CashCall Futurity a record six times and he has four colts entered in today’s race – Really Mr. Greely (5-1), Den’s Legacy (6-1), Carving (8-1) and Title Contender (10-1).
Of that quartet, I like Den’s Legacy the most. He’s been very competitive in his last three starts with jockey Garrett Gomez in the irons and he comes into today’s race with a half-length win on the turf in the Generous Stakes (G3) at Betfair Hollywood Park on November 24.
If Den’s Legacy continues to improve, he should be competitive in today’s race.
The CashCall Futurity (G1) is the last Derby qualifying race of the 2-year-old racing season. The winner will receive 10 points, the second-place finisher will receive four points, the third-place finisher will receive 2 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive 1 point.
After the race, I’ll post the updated list of Kentucky Derby qualifying leaders at the end of this blog.
Kentucky Derby 2013 Leaderboard
(Updated December 15, 2012)
Individual Leaders, total points
Shanghai Bobby, 20
Power Broker, 10
River Seven, 10
Bern Identity, 4
Capo Bastone, 4
Dynamic Sky, 4
Frac Daddy, 4
Fury Kapcori, 4
He’s Had Enough, 4
Know More, 4
Normandy Invasion, 4
Al Waab, 2
Den’s Legacy, 2
Dewey Square, 2
Indiano Jones, 2
Java’s War, 2
Five Iron, 1
Pataky Kid, 1
Quinienne Monarque, 1
Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2), Newmarket, September 29, 2012
3. Al Waab,2
Frontrunner Stakes (G1), Santa Anita Park, September 29, 2012
1. Power Broker, 10
2. Know More, 4
3. Capo Bastone, 2
4. Carving, 1
Foxwoods Champagne Stakes (G1), Belmont Park, October 6, 2012
1. Shanghai Bobby, 10
2. Goldencents, 4
3. Fortify, 2
4. Archwarrior, 1
Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Keeneland, October 6, 2012
1. Joha, 10
2. Dynamic Sky, 4
3. Java’s War, 2
4. Pataky Kid, 1
Grey Stakes (G3), Woodbine, October 7, 2012
1. River Seven, 10
2. Tesseron, 4
3. Indiano Jones, 2
4. Five Iron, 1
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1), Santa Anita Park, November 3, 2012
1. Shanghai Bobby, 10
2. He’s Had Enough, 4
3. Capo Bastone, 2
4. Fortify, 1
Delta Downs Jackpot (G3), Delta Downs, November 17, 2012
1. Goldencents, 10
2. Bern Identity, 4
3. Mylute, 2,
4. Hightail, 1
Remsen Stakes (G2), Aqueduct, November 24, 2012
1. Overanalyze, 10
2. Normandy Invasion, 4
3. Delhomme, 2
4. Quinzieme Monarque, 1
Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2), Churchill Downs, November 24, 2012
1. Uncaptured, 10
2. Frac Daddy, 4
3. Dewey Square, 2
4. Tesseron, 1
CashCall Futurity (G1), Betfair Hollywood Park, December 15, 2012
1. Violence, 10
2. Fury Kapcori, 4
3. Den’s Legacy, 2
4. Oxbow, 1