Bob Baffert: targets Futurity with his best juvenilesPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Baffert out to strike in Futurity with Tap It Rich
Preview: USA, Saturday 12.35am Sun GMT
Hollywood Park: CashCall Futurity (Grade 1) 1m½f, AW, 2yo
HOLLYWOOD PARK, host site for the inaugural Breeders' Cup in 1984, hosts its final Grade 1 event on Saturday with the CashCall Futurity.
The $750,000 contest for two-year-olds is one of three Graded stakes on the card at the venue, which closes its doors for good in eight days' time before being redeveloped for residential and commercial use.
The Hollywood Futurity is a recognised trial for next year's Triple Crown and has produced several major Classic players in its history, including no fewer than six Kentucky Derby victors, though only one of them - Real Quiet (1997) actually won the Hollywood race.
Real Quiet's trainer Bob Baffert, who has won three of the last five Futurities, is seeking a record seventh win overall as he saddles highly rated Tap It Rich (Mike Smith) in a 13-runner field on the Cushion Track artificial surface.
Despite having only one race under his belt, the roan ridgling son of Tapit was sent off second favourite for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, where he met trouble in running before finishing fifth - one place behind Saturday's rival Bond Holder (Doug O'Neill/Mario Gutierrez), who represents race sponsor Paul Reddam.
Baffert usually runs his best juvenile here, in a race he has also won with Captain Steve, Point Given, Pioneerof The Nile, Lookin At Lucky and Liaison.
Jerry Hollendorfer saddles Del Mar Futurity winner Tamarando (Rafael Bejarano) and Shared Belief (Corey Nakatani), a runaway winner of the Hollywood Prevue, the designated Grade 3 trial for this race.
Gary Stevens bid to cap a remarkable comeback year on eight-lenght maiden winner Candy Boy (John Sadler).