Thursday marks the beginning of Juvenile season in California with a 2 furlong Maiden Special Weight for fillies at Golden Gate Fields. Then on Friday night, Los Alamitos will hold 4 races for Maiden 2 year olds going 300 yards, 2 for fillies and 2 for the boys.
California is home to some of North America's most prestigious 2 year old races. The most notable for Thoroughbreds is the Grade I, $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park. Some notable winners of the CashCall Futurity, or Hollywood Futurity as it was previously called, include A. P. Indy in 1991 and Lion Heart in 2003. For Quarter Horses, Los Alamitos plays host to a trio of huge Futurities, the Ed Burke Million, the Garden State Million, and the Los Alamitos Two Million. Last year, superstar One Dashing Eagle won the Ed Burke and the Garden State before shipping to Ruidoso Downs to win the All American Futurity. He earned over $2 million, winning 6 of his 7 starts before being retired to stud.
In the Golden Gate MSW, I like La Tonga, who's flashed some quick 1/4 mile gate drills at Santa Anita and gets Russel Baze riding. She's by Brave Cat, a new sire who's a son of Lion Heart. I'm a fan of almost anything with Lion Heart blood. At Los Al, a few to watch for are Shake Djibouti and Cartel Fantasy in Race 2, Jess Bring It and Barefoot Bluejean in Race 4, Miss Paddy in Race 6, and Micato in Race 7. All of them are well bred runners with some nice works.
Juvenile's are always fun to follow. It's nice to see some young horses begin their careers, and then watch them develop. For all we know, we may end up watching a future Grade I winners this week.
Some other notes
In other 2 year old news, Sunland will be hosting the 1st 2 year old Thoroughbred stakes races of the year on Saturday, with the Copper Top Futurity. There are 2 divisions of the state-bred race, the $88,389 Filly division and the $95,125 colts and geldings division. Several of these horses will end up running in the Mountain Top Futurity at Ruidoso this summer, a big race for the NM breds.
Lot's of good racing at Keeneland this weekend. Wise Dan is making his 2013 debut on Friday in the Maker's 46 Mile. Then Saturday is Blue Grass day, where Mark Casse is making a last chance attempt at making the Kentucky Derby with Dynamic Sky and Uncaptured. There's an all-stakes Pick 4 on Saturday starting with the Shakertown and ending with the Blue Grass. I probably won't be playing it, but it will be a huge pool.
Lone Star and Hastings both start up this week, Lone Star on Thursday and Hastings on Friday. Lone Star has completely resurfaced their main track after a very notable bias during the Quarter Horse meet last year, so it will be interesting to see how the track plays. Hastings is getting ready to roll after a very successful 2012. They had a big boost in handle, a lot of which was due to lowered takeout on their Pick 3s, Pick 4s, and Pick 5s to 15%. Both are tracks I enjoy and hope you all take some time to play.
Have a good one, and good luck.