The last graded stakes of the Hollywood Park meet is the Grade 1 Cashcall Futurity. This race will provide an automatic ticket into the field of the 2012 Kentucky Derby, with the winner's share of the $750,000 purse providing more than enough graded stakes earnings to secure the spot. This race has been won by such Eclipse Award winners as Lookin at Lucky, Declan's Moon and Point Given. In the last decade, three horses have ran in this race and hit the board in the Kentucky Derby. Lion Heart and Pioneerof the Nile won the Futurity and then went on to run 2nd in the Derby, while Giacomo ran 2nd in the Futurity and then went on to shock the world at 50-1 in the Derby. This year's field is sizable one of 13 runners, with a couple of new shooters mixed with in most of the best local threats. Will go over some of the contenders, starting with the rail horse.
Blingo is a horse who has a considerable amount of buzz behind him. He won a maiden race rallying from the back of the pack in his debut going a flat mile on the grass. He has the same famous connections of Shirreffs-Smith-Moss, and has worked well since the win. There appears to be enough pace to set-up his late kick. This blog thinks that the buzz will drive his odds down from the 8/1 morning line all the way to favoritism.
Liaison defeated Rousing Sermon last time out by making an early move and sustaining it to the wire. He worked across town several times since the last race in typical swift Baffert fashion. He figures to take considerable amount of money at the windows to the point he will be the favorite or second choice. Baffert has won this race 5 times, a record amount.
So there is a look at some of the contenders for the race. Others including the Grade 1 winner Drill, who appears to have gone off form; Majestic City, the morning line favorite who ran second in a Grade 1 at this distance at Keeneland two races back; and Empire Way, the full-brother of the multi-million dollar filly Royal Delta, who bounced off a 11 day layoff in his last race and looks to improve first time routing.
So who will this blog back at the windows? The pick for this blog is Rousing Sermon. He has just enough early speed that he can be close if the pace of the race is not blistering. He also figures to float up from his 6-1 morning line based on the other connections in this race attracting attention at the windows. He hopefully will avenge his loss to Liaison last out. Empire Way will be a large part of any exotics played as well.
Good luck folks!