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Hollywood Park notes: Poker Player joins CashCall Futurity cast
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – More than a month after finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, Poker Player is being sent back to California for Saturday’s $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Trainer Wayne Catalano said Tuesday that Poker Player will be shipped from Florida for the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity over 1 1/16 miles. The CashCall is run on a synthetic track, which holds significant appeal for Catalano and his clients, Gary and Mary West.
“He won a stakes on the Polytrack [synthetic] surface at Keeneland,” Catalano said. “It looks like he has a shot.”
Poker Player has won 2 of 4 starts, including the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 6. The Grade 3 Bourbon was scheduled for turf but run over 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic track there because of wet conditions. Poker Player closed from 10th in a field of 13 to win by a length in a 23-1 upset.
In the BC Juvenile Turf, Poker Player was last of 13 in the opening quarter-mile and closed with a six-wide rally to finish eighth, 10 lengths behind the victorious European invader Outstrip.
“It wasn’t a bad race,” Catalano said. “He lost a lot of ground.”
The Wests already have a leading 2-year-old this year in New Year’s Day, winner of the BC Juvenile for trainer Bob Baffert.
By Harlan’s Holiday, Poker Player is part of a projected field of 12 for the CashCall Futurity.
The field is led by the unbeaten Shared Belief, who won the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes on Nov. 10; Tamarando, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in September and the Real Quiet Stakes on Nov. 23; and Bond Holder and Tap It Rich, who were fourth and fifth in the BC Juvenile on Nov. 2.
Other expected runners are Brother Soldier, Candy Boy, Electric Eddie, Karma King, Kobe’s Back, Rankhasprivileges, and Sheikinator.
Counting down to closure
The milestones related to the closure of Hollywood Park will occur frequently in the next few weeks.
Thursday’s eight-race program is the final Thursday card in track history. In the week leading to the Dec. 22 closure, racing will be conducted Friday through Sunday.
The CashCall Futurity is the last Grade 1 in track history. There were three others at the current fall meeting – the Hollywood Derby and Matriarch Stakes on Dec. 1 and the Hollywood Starlet last Saturday.
The final turf stakes in track history is Saturday’s $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup over 1 1/2 miles. The Grade 2 Turf Cup has a projected field of eight, including Temeraine and Lucayan, who were fifth and ninth in the Grade 1 Canadian International on yielding turf at Woodbine on Oct. 27.
Temeraine won the Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 14. Lucayan, winner of the French 2000 Guineas in 2012, was third in the John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita on Sept. 29.
posters act like things got soooo bad in horse racing in the US. Please. I'm 68. There use to be no drug control. None. Jockeys use to rough ride all the time. Horses were switched and misidentified. Electrical winners ran from one coast to the other, neast and west and north and south. Where is Damon Runyon? Watchmaker and DRF ( a non drf plus article) just before the BC espouses the idea that POS should not run so she has a better chance at the eclipse. The tracks, DRF, Brisnet, the current writers, have done a horrible job of attracting the 21 to 45 year olds. Most would rather watch guys in helmets smash each other and get brain damage. Great example for the youth. The youth football leagues are the worst. So where in the racing industry is the marketing wizard? Why can't a state that holds the most exciting race in the country get funded by casinoes? Frankly, the tracks and DRF are like the far right wing in the US. They are short sighted and only see their own immediate profit.
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Never thought I would ever see the day Hollywood Park would be torn down, it's so unreal, it's like I'm having a bad dream. Enjoy these last few days while we can because the reality is it's not a bad dream after all.
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Fore the last year of this race, Hollywood Park needed to go back to the name Hollywood Futurity. To hell with Cashcall and what it stands for, legal loansharking
Hollywood will always be remembered for all the great racing GOLD CUP, fifty thousand screaming fans all the celebrities the flimingoe's and just a beautiful placeto spend a day and enjoy the beauty of this track.
Hollywood Park being torn down is a direct result of the horsemen themselves that allowed the mass drug usage and corruption in the sport they claim to love. They wanted to screw the bettors and fans day after day for short term gains with no regard for the long term health of the industry as a whole. They made their bed now lie, cheat and steal in them all together at the homeless shelters and unemployment lines.
Hollywood Park being torn down is a crime, travesty, call it what you want. Have any of you SEEN the city of Inglewood? The land is worth too much for a racetrack? Why tear down the only nice thing in town? If the land around there is worth too much for a track surely the land within a two or three mile radius is worth too much for gangsta apartments, liquor stores and strip malls correct? Why not bulldoze those and begin upgrading the city of Inglewood? The only part of that town that is not a total dump are the condo units behind the barn area. If I'm looking to improve my yard, I do not begin by destroying the best part of it. I leave that alone and begin with the parts that need improvement but hey.....that's just me.
This is all so sad.
The once great "Sport of Kings" is really changing right before our eyes and unfortunately not for the better. From the reduction of the DRF, to field size, to ownership, training and track attendence as a whole. Racing has "cheapened itself" greatly due to economic and self-inflicted black eyes, i. e. drugs, race fixing and the like. The powers that be need to adapt some kind of national commission like the ones that oversee the other major sports in the country in order for some semblance of order to return to Horse Racing. To let a great venue like Hollywood close is a travesty. Marge Everett must be turning over in her grave. The place that host the FIRST Breeders Cup is now going to be nothing more than another condominium complex. Imagine?????