11/08/2013 1:47PM

Hollywood Park: Papa Turf's weapon is speed in Prevue

Benoit & Associates
Papa Turf, a $220,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, earned an 82 Beyer Speed Figure in this maiden win.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Kobe’s Back has the flash. Shared Belief has the fig.

But neither has the speed of Papa Turf, a front-runner who will try to steal the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue for 2-year-olds on Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Five were entered in the Prevue, and while Papa Turf has generated less hype than his rivals, he enters with at least one key attribute that they lack – gas.

Papa Turf, the controlling speed of the seven-furlong Prevue, is cranked for his first start since a sharp maiden win Sept. 28 at Santa Anita. In the six weeks since then, Papa Turf has done everything right, according to trainer Jim Kasparoff.

“We’re excited,” Kasparoff said. “Everything’s gone according to plan. He’s a big, good-looking colt, maybe built like a sprinter, but he acts like he will go two turns.”

So far, the best horse trained by Kasparoff, 39, was Bob Black Jack. He won four stakes and $704,925 from 13 starts, including the Grade 1 Malibu in 2008. Kasparoff has another top prospect in Papa Turf.

He also is the most expensive – “by far,” Kasparoff said. Papa Turf was purchased for $220,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale for majority owner Calvin Nguyen. Although the price was higher than they had planned to spend, Kasparoff and Nguyen both liked the colt, who is sired by Yes It’s True.

“He stood out,” Kasparoff said. “We’re looking forward to [the Prevue], and then maybe the CashCall.” The Grade 1, 1  1/16-mile CashCall will be run Dec. 14.

The maiden win by Papa Turf earned an 82 Beyer, validated when runner-up Kristo and 10th-place I See Back returned to win. Although Papa Turf has been stabled this fall at Santa Anita, he trained all summer at Hollywood. Surface is not an issue.

Edwin Maldonado rides Papa Turf, whose second-start maiden win suggested he is more than a one-dimensional rocket. When challenged by favorite Kristo at the top of the lane, Papa Turf kicked. He was extending his margin late.

Beyond speed, Papa Turf also has an experience advantage over his main foes. Kobe’s Back and Shared Belief each has started just once. Both won impressively.

Kobe’s Back made his career debut June 15 at Hollywood, starting as the favorite against winners in the $100,000 Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes. He walked out of the gate to seemingly lose all chance.

However, the gray unleashed an extended move and ran past the leaders late to win by more than three lengths. It was a dazzling performance. It also was his only start.

“I just decided to give him some time because he was a bit immature,” trainer John Sadler said.

Kobe’s Back has posted a series of fast workouts for his comeback. Rafael Bejarano will ride the colt, owned by the CRK Stable of Lee and Susan Searing.

Shared Belief earned an 84 Beyer winning his debut at Golden Gate Fields, after which he was purchased privately by a group that includes Jim Rome’s Jungle Racing and new trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. A gelding by Candy Ride, Shared Belief has two sharp recent works at Hollywood and will be ridden by Corey Nakatani.

The longshot Prevue entrants are Brother Solider and Golden Dynamo. The Prevue is race 3 on a nine-race card.