Saturday, December 9, 2017

Handicappers Corner: CashCall Futurity (G1)

Easy Money in the CashCall Futurity

By: Laurie Ross, IMTBreds

The CashCall Futurity is the last Grade One race of the year held for two-year-old colts, and is a 2018 Kentucky Derby qualifier.  Since the race’s inception in 1981, 16 colts who hit the board in the Futurity have also run in the money in at least one of the Triple Crown races.  Six won the Kentucky Derby and three each the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.  2014’s Los Futurity hero Dortmund finished third in the 2015 Kentucky Derby.

In previous years, the Los Alamitos Futurity drew very strong fields. The late, great Shared Belief kept his win streak intact in ’13, and 2014 Dortmund rallied for an edge of your seat performance. 

Brilliance is the name of the game for this year’s select field of five contenders. Four have won a race by three or more lengths. The fourth, Solomini, was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Easy Money
The well-regarded McKinzie galloped to a 5 1/2 debut victory at Santa Anita, getting his final quarter in 24.62 and his last furlong in 12.84. His final time for seven furlongs was 1:22.70. He showed plenty of ability in his final breeze and looked good, taking aim at a rival and closing ground. He appeared ready to take another step forward.

Could Cash In
Runaway Ghost has done just that in his last two starts, beating rivals by a combined 9 1/4 lengths. The son of Ghostzapper has speed and isn’t afraid to use it, but he’ll have to navigate an extra 2 1/2 furlongs.

Solomini is the class of the field, with a major caveat. The lightly raced son of Curlin is still figuring things out. During his races and breezes, he’s getting by on natural talent but doesn’t show the inclination to pass other horses. He was out-worked in his final two breezes by two unraced stablemates.

Instilled Regard captured his third start by 4 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita, but the son of Arch traveled 1 1/16 miles in a pokey 1:45.76, getting his final quarter in 25.31, and his final 1/16 in 6.44. Instilled Regard has breezed strongly, but regular jock Mike Smith, who piloted the colt in all three starts, sticks with McKinzie.

For Him won a $50K maiden claimer at a mile over the Del Mar dirt in his third start. He followed up with a fourth-place finish in the Zuma Beach Stakes over the Santa Anita turf. The son of hot new sire Violence has shown the ability to lead or press the pace, but his late pace speed figures are poor. He recorded three sharp pre-race three-furlong breezes, but the distance and competition may prove too much.

Unless the post-time longshot surprises, the payouts won’t be worth the bet.
#5 MCKINZIE (6-5)
#3 SOLOMINI (7-5)


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