Historically, the CashCall Futurity produces excellent prospects for the Triple Crown. Point Given, who won the race in 2000, went on to win the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes the following year. Before him 1997 winner Real Quiet won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before narrowly missing in his attempt to connect all three in the Belmont Stakes. 2009 winner Lookin At Lucky went on to become a Preakness winner.
That mean’s this years field of 13 will likely fare well, right? I’m not so sure.
Liaison looked great winning the race. He answered the two turns question and was clearly the best horse in the race. He’s got question marks though.
The biggest thing standing in his way is pedigree. He’s got a ton of bottom thanks to his stakes winning dam (Galloping Gal by Victory Gallop), but his sire, Indian Charlie, has failed produce classic winners. Can he buck the trend? I’m not willing to put my money on it.
The second problem I have with the race is the second place finisher, Rousing Sermon. As good as he looked, we cant lose sight of the fact that he’s a California bred colt. I know some wont like me saying this, but those tend to be second and third tier horses. It doesn’t say a lot for this group that he managed to finish second.
There are two bright spots in this race for me. First, the colt Brother Francis was good looking. It seemed he might blow their doors off turning for home, but jockey Victor Espinoza dropped the whip and he ended up third. He’s now a maiden with three starts, but has placings in two graded stakes. What will the connections do with him? It should be interesting to watch and find out. Personally, my next move would be the Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The distance is right up his alley and it’s a nice purse.
The other thing I liked was Empire Way. He came with a nice rally to be fifth only beaten about two and a half lengths. I believe he’s going to love extra ground. The impeccably bred colt will be heard from this year, but it could be down the road as the sons and daughter of Empire Maker tend to take longer to develop.
In summation I don’t see the 2011 CashCall Futurity as a race that will impact the Kentucky Derby. The winner wont be able to go the distance and the runner up just isn’t that good. Brother Francis stands a punchers chance, but has a long way to go. Empire Way is likely going to take too long to develop.
What are your thoughts on the race? You can watch it above.