12/10/2013 2:23PM

Hollywood Park notes: Poker Player joins CashCall Futurity cast

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Poker Player, who won the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes in October, will run in Saturday's Grade 1 CashCall Futurity.

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.