12/09/2011 12:32PM

Rousing Sermon out to become Lucky Pulpit's richest foal this year

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Benoit & Associates
Rousing Sermon won the California Cup Juvenile and now jumps up into the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity next Saturday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Rousing Sermon will make his graded stakes debut in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park next Saturday under circumstances that could make him dangerous.

“It’s his third time at the distance, and that’s to our advantage,” said Dan Kiser, racing manger for owner-breeders Larry and Marianne Williams.

Kiser has a right to be biased. He helped raise Rousing Sermon, thought favorably of the colt from the start of his career, and has watched a successful 2-year-old season unfold in 2011.

Approaching the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity, Rousing Sermon has won 2 of 5 starts and $134,000. The highlight has been a win in the California Cup Juvenile over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Oct. 29, followed by a second in the Real Quiet Stakes over that distance against open company on Nov. 12.

“I raised him here in Idaho with a group of 19 2-year-olds, and I thought he was the best one,” Kiser said Thursday. “He’s just gorgeous. He’s a big, pretty colt.”

Rousing Sermon has never been worse than third. After winning a maiden race for statebreds over five furlongs at Hollywood Park in June, Rousing Sermon was third in two stakes for California-breds at Del Mar – the Graduation and I’m Smokin Stakes.

“We thought he’d be a better colt going a distance, but he won real easy in his first race,” Kiser said. “Then, we came back in stakes sprinting and it was obvious he needed more ground.”

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Rousing Sermon is one of eight stakes winners among the 14 probable starters for the CashCall Futurity. The final field will be known Wednesday, when entries are due.

Rousing Sermon was bred by the Williamses and is by Lucky Pulpit, whom they raced. Rousing Sermon is out of the Awesome Again mare Rousing Again, winner of six races for the Williamses on the East Coast. Rousing Again also is the dam of a yearling Bertrando filly, but died in 2010 from complications of delivering that foal, Kiser said.

If Rousing Sermon finishes in the first four in the CashCall Futurity, he will pass Luckarack as Lucky Pulpit’s richest foal this year. Luckarack has earned $182,070 this year in a season highlighted by a win in the Jim Kostoff Stakes at Fairplex Park in September.

There are not that many Lucky Pulpits currently on the racetrack. Kiser estimated that the sire was bred to 23 or 24 mares in 2008, his second year at stud. Last year, Lucky Pulpit was the leading freshman stallion in California, a title that led to greater attention for the stallion from breeders earlier this year.

“The first couple of years were pretty small,” Kiser said of the foal crops. “Last year, he was bred to more than 100 mares. We’re pretty tickled.”

Lucky Pulpit stood for $2,500 in 2011 and will stay at that price in 2012. He stands at Harris Farms. The stallion market in California will become more crowded with the addition of several new prospects in 2012, a reason to keep the fee down, Kiser said.

“I’m sure he’s good enough to stand for $4,000 or $5,000, but we’ve got Heatseeker, Aragorn, and Giacomo coming to California, and they’ll stand in that range,” Kiser said. “We thought we’d be best off to stand for $2,500.”

This could be a big month for the Williamses. Sunday at Hollywood Park, they start Lady Railrider in the $80,000 Cat’s Cradle Handicap. A 6-year-old mare, Lady Railrider has won 9 of 32 starts and $587,230 and could win her fifth stakes in the Cat’s Cradle Handicap for statebred females.