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Hollywood Park: Pletcher brings Violence cross country for CashCall Futurity
By Jay Privman
California, here he comes.
Trainer Todd Pletcher shipped west six weeks ago and made off with the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with Shanghai Bobby, securing the Eclipse Award for champion male 2-year-old. He was just getting warmed up.
Pletcher is flush with so many promising 2-year-old males that he was able to win last month’s Remsen at Aqueduct with Overanalyze, while keeping Violence on the sidelines, awaiting the Grade 1, $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
He’s hoping that Saturday afternoon is all right for fighting. Violence, 2 for 2 in New York, heads to Hollywood Park for his first try in Grade 1 company. But he has shown so much talent to date – a maiden win at Saratoga, then last month’s Nashua Stakes – that he just might go off the favorite against He’s Had Enough, the BC Juvenile runner-up, and a quartet of entrants from trainer Bob Baffert’s barn.
“We considered running back in the Remsen, but we’d have been bringing him back in 20 days, so we started looking at other options, and timing-wise the Futurity fit well in the calendar,” Pletcher said via telephone Thursday morning. “Plus, it’s Grade 1 status, and the size of the purse, are very attractive.”
Indeed, because it is a lucrative Grade 1 race, the Futurity appears to have lost none of its allure, despite it being devalued in terms of eligibility to the Kentucky Derby. Under the previous system, where graded stakes earnings were paramount toward running in the Derby, a win in this race virtually guaranteed a spot in the Derby field. Under the new points system, it is far less important toward a Derby berth compared with races closer to the first Saturday in May. The first four finishers in the Futurity will receive points on a 10-4-2-1 scale, while preps beginning in late February will be assigned point values on a 50-20-10-5 scale.
So, a bulky field of 11 is entered in the 1 1/16-mile race. For Violence, this will be his first try around two turns.
“I think he’s going to relish it,” Pletcher said. “He’s a big, scopey horse who’s still improving.”
He’s Had Enough will try to keep the bulk of the Futurity prize money with owner Paul Reddam, who owns lending company CashCall, the race sponsor. He’s Had Enough comes off the best race of his career, losing a narrow decision to Shanghai Bobby.
“I thought he ran great,” said his trainer, Doug O’Neill. “It was a very safe track, but it was speed-favoring, so he was running against that.”
He’s Had Enough was forced to race without Lasix last time, owing to the Breeders’ Cup rules, but he will be back on it Saturday, O’Neill said.
Also going back on Lasix is Title Contender, a Baffert trainee who faded to finish eighth of nine in the BC Juvenile after dueling early with Shanghai Bobby.
“I was disappointed with the way he ran in the Breeders’ Cup,” Baffert said. “I think he was just going too fast. I don’t want him to run like that this time. I don’t see him on the lead.”
The front end could still be occupied by Baffert with Really Mr Greeley, who scored a front-running victory in the seven-furlong Hollywood Prevue on Nov. 22. Julien Leparoux rode Really Mr Greeley that day, but Leparoux was married earlier this week and is on his honeymoon, so Mike Smith takes over.
“His last two races were really impressive,” said Baffert, who said he doesn’t know how Really Mr Greeley will handle two turns.
“You never know until they do it,” he said.
Baffert’s wife, Jill, is part-owner of Carving along with ski great Bode Miller. He won the Real Quiet on Nov. 10 at this distance.
“He shows so much more in the afternoon than the morning,” Baffert said. “We’ll find out how good he is. He’s training well, so why not take a shot for the big money?”
Baffert’s fourth runner, Den’s Legacy, moves back to the main track after capturing the Generous on turf three weeks ago.
Dirty Swagg, Fury Kapcori, Little Jerry, Oxbow, and Simon Eyes round out the field.
Wide open race.
He's Had Enough - Does no one see the abundance of speed in the race? Let's throw another closer, Simon Eyes in for the place. Violence bore in 3x on a lightning fast track. Won't make the 2 turns today.
Really Mr. Greely and Violence are the one's to beat Mike Smith will dictate the pace and Violence with Casteano will be in the cat bird seat waiting to pounce. Let's see who's who come stetch time. My pick Violence and J Casteano to take the top prize.
violence is a standout
Not buying the NFL analogy - who would be under center, etc... And yet an American football linkage might be possible. To quote the (great) Grantland Rice: "Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore their names are Death, Destruction, Pestilence, and Famine. But those are aliases. Their real names are: Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds this afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down upon the bewildering panorama spread out upon the green plain below" Ol' Grantland cashed a bet or two as well!
Not buying the bc field. Dont think many if any will factor come may . Kieren colt maybe? I think violence is the horse who has been facing and beating the tougher fields. I know that titletown five is highly regarded as is the horse he broke his maiden against at Churchill in his last. Add that to the fact Pletcher sends violence out across country makes him my selection. And that baffert sends 4 lends me to think its like having 2 quarterbacks in the nfl. Neither of them or all 4 of them in bafferts case are that good.
Den's Legacy with Garrett up seems like a good play here. The odds would be good and he should get the trip.... He is bred to go long too and racing on synthetic does not hurt him as I think Violence would be. Oxbow seems interesting too --- he can improve and be a factor , the post does not help him though. Den's Legacy over Oxbow exacta should be juicy!!!!!!
Toss Carving and Fury Kapcori. Yes, I just said that.
Folks, Hes Had Enough ran a 17 Ragozin at the BC. His best on synthetic in 2 starts was a 13. Violence is coming off of an 8 and before, an 11. If you know how to look past Beyers, you will see that Hes Had Enough was just involved in a very weak race contrary to what your eyes led you to think. Play him on top at your own peril. Really Mr. Greely and Violence are ALL the class.
He's Had Enough was best in the Breeders Cup, if you go back and watch the replay. He was full of run along the inside and had to steady again and again.............BUT, he was pointed for the Breeders Cup, and then let down after that! This race is almost an afterthought because of the owners involvment (Cash Call) I think one of the lighter raced horse can upset the cart ! Title Contender was very very impressive, BUT again, he ran in the Breeders Cup ! I guess Ill just have to "all " the race on my tickets ! Hahhahah~ Good Luck everyone, Have a great holiday !
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