12/17/2012 12:11PM

Trip Notes: CashCall Futurity and Hollywood Turf Cup

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Betfair Hollywood Park
Hollywood Turf Cup (race 7)

Grandeur is the real deal. The 3-year-old European raider won the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 in his first U.S. start and then was a troubled second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby here Nov. 25. He stepped up to face elders today, but as the favorite had no trouble at all with that. He showed a bit more tactical speed this time, sitting midpack. He bided his time and came with a strong rally in the lane that swept him past his rivals. He reportedly will leave Southern California, returning to England, with an eye on Dubai in March, likely the Group 1 Sheema Classic on turf but maybe the Group 1 Dubai World Cup on synthetic. Interaction, the Argentine Horse of the Year in 2009, has occasionally shown some of that form since coming to the United States last year. At 29-1, he sat back behind the eventual winner, surged along the rail to challenge for the lead in deep stretch, but couldn’t quite finish with the winner. Optimizer bounced out to the early lead, quickly relinquished pacesetting duties to Slim Shadey, stalked that rival, was in tight in midstretch, but re-rallied to finish a nice third. Slim Shadey took the lead from Optimizer early, set the pace, still had the lead in midstretch, but weakened late. Bourbon Bay lagged back and made only minimal headway late. Could be the Grade 1 winner just isn’t the horse he once was.

Betfair Hollywood Park
CashCall Futurity (race 9)

Violence remained unbeaten in three starts, getting a perfect trip under Castellano and bringing about more questions as to the quality of the Southern California 2-year-olds as he was another invader who took home the big prize. The $600,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro, the favorite, got a dream run sitting off four dueling rivals, surged past those tiring rivals into the lane, pushed back a challenge from Fury Kapcori into the lane, and actually edged away late. It was his first try around two turns and first on synthetic, so he gives Pletcher another big potential Derby player along with likely 2-year-old champ Shanghai Bobby, multiple graded stakes winner Overanalyze, and a few others. He reportedly was to return to Florida and target either the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park or Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds, both on Feb. 23. Fury Kapcori, a son of Horse of the Year Tiznow, dueled with three others, got rid of those foes into the lane and gamely persevered, though he couldn’t fend off Violence while clearly the best of the rest (2 1/2 lengths). Den’s Legacy lagged back, made a smart run into the lane, but then finished evenly. He’s Had Enough, second in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, broke slowly, was last early and still well back turning for home, and made modest headway.