12/18/2007 12:00AM

Beware of Monba next year

EmailLAS VEGAS - The CashCall Futurity is the glamour race this weekend, and while the well-matched 2-year-old colts are expected to put on an entertaining show, they will be hard-pressed to equal the performance of Country Star, who dazzled winning the Hollywood Starlet last weekend.

Indian Blessing is the likely 2-year-old filly champion based on her back-to-back Grade 1 victories in the Frizette Stakes and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but to many observers, Country Star's back-to-back Grade 1 victories in the Alcibiades and Starlet were even more impressive. Based on performance and especially pedigree, Country Star (Empire Maker) - and not Indian Blessing (Indian Charlie) - has the potential to be next year's Rags to Riches.

Below is a pedigree analysis of the probable CashCall field (alphabetically):

Colonel John: By two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow and out of a Turkoman mare, this winner of the Real Quiet Stakes should enjoy more distance at 3. His female family produced Imperialism, White Beauty, and Paulrus.

Eaton's Gift: By Johannesburg and out of a Carson City mare, he is bred to be a miler and gets more speed from his second damsire, Irish Tower.

Indian Sun: By the underrated Indian Charlie (the sire of Indian Blessing), whose only career defeat came when he finished third to stablemate Real Quiet and Victory Gallop in the 1998 Kentucky Derby, Indian Sun gets stamina from damsire Alleged, two-time winner of the 1o1/2-mile Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Into Mischief: By one of this year's most exciting freshman sires, Harlan's Holiday, he was a non-threatening second to Massive Drama in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes last out. Descends from high-class George D. Widener female family of Pontivy and Patelin.

Massive Drama: Undefeated in two starts, including the Hollywood Prevue Stakes, he is by freshman sire Kafwain, who was a superb juvenile, winning the Norfolk and Best Pal stakes and also second to Vindication in the BC Juvenile. Far and away the best foal from his modest female family.

Meal Penalty: By Tale of the Cat (sire of Hollywood Futurity winner Lion Heart), his dam was second in the Adirondack and Astoria stakes and is by Unbridled's Song (giving him a speed over speed pedigree pattern). His second dam, Dreamscape, is a full sister to champion sprinter Housebuster.

Monba: Undefeated in two starts, he has impressed winning just a maiden and allowance. A victory here catapults him onto the Kentucky Derby trail, and he has the best pedigree in this field for projected further success at 3 at classic distances. By the late Maria's Mon (sire of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos in his first crop), he is out of an Easy Goer mare who is a half-sister to Secret Hello, Silent Account, Hadif, and By Your Leave.

Old Man Buck: From the first crop of Hold That Tiger (who was recently sent to France), he is a grass horse (winner of the Cradle Stakes and Grand Canyon Handicap) who finished third over Polytrack in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity. Fifth dam is a half-sister to Dedicate, the 1957 champion handicap horse.

Overextended: Second in the Real Quiet Stakes, he shouldn't have a problem with stamina since he's by Monarchos and out of a Gulch mare. His female family produced last year's 3-year-old champion, Bernardini, as well as White Star Line, Magazine, On the Sly, and Northern Trick.

Referee: The latest good runner by Distorted Humor, he is a half-brother to 2006 Monmouth Park BC Oaks winner Mo Cuishle, and his dam is a half-sister to Tricky Bird, the dam of stakes winner Stanley Park, and Shriek, who won an allowance last Saturday over the Hollywood turf, defeating 4-5 Ingrid the Gambler.

Shore Do: By Include, he was third in the Norfolk Stakes and has a pedigree that should improve with maturity and distance. He gets additional stamina from damsire Dynaformer, and his Canadian female family produced Eternal Search, Giboulee, Meadow Monster, Last Answer, Victorious Trick, Finality, Stolen Beauty, French Braids, and Giant Moon.

Sierra Sunset: Winner of the Bay Meadows Juvenile Stakes and Cal Cup Juvenile, he is by perennial Cal-bred top stallion Bertrando, and is out of a Pirate's Bounty mare.

Slew's Tiznow: Second in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, much has been expected from this full brother to Slew's Tizzy, winner of this year's Lexington Stakes and Lone Star Derby. By Tiznow, he's out of the female line that produced Spanish Fern.

Tres Borrachos: By Ecton Park (Forty Niner), he is out of a stakes-winning mare by Peteski from a female family that produced multiple stakes winner Discreet Hero.

Selection: Monba