Comma to the Top, who won three stakes on two surfaces, including the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I), was voted Horse of the Meet in the annual media poll as the autumn meet concluded Sunday.
Owned by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, and Kevin Tsujihara and trained by Peter Miller, Comma to the Top, a gelded son of Bwana Charlie, won the Real Quiet Stakes Nov. 6, switched to the turf to capture the Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) Nov. 27, then capped a sensational six weeks with a decisive victory in the Futurity, giving him the first grade I triumph of his career.
In addition, Comma to the Top, who has won six of 10 and earned $551,600, was selected top 2-year-old and was a unanimous choice as 2-year-old male.
Turbulent Descent, who became the first horse to win both the Moccasin Stakes and Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I), was a unanimous selection as 2-year-old filly. Owned by a partnership that includes Blinkers On Racing Stables and Bill Strauss and trained by Mike Puype, Turbulent Descent won the Moccasin Nov. 21, then stretched out successfully to 1 1/16 miles three weeks later in the Starlet.
Other unanimous choices were Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) upsetter Haimish Hy (3-year-old and 3-year-old male); Life Is Sweet Stakes and Bayakoa Handicap (gr. II) winner Washington Bridge (3-year-old filly); Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) hero Aggie Engineer (older male); Matriarch (gr. IT) winner Gypsy’s Warning (older female and female turf runner); and Miles Tyson and Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III) winner Cost of Freedom (sprinter).
Victor’s Cry, who finished with a flourish to win the Citation Handicap (gr. IIT), was selected turf horse, and Bad Boy, who ran his victory streak to five with a hat trick during the meet, was honored as claiming horse.
On the human side, unanimous choices were Alex Gonzalez (apprentice jockey) and Joel Rosario (jockey). Rosario defended his autumn title, finishing 12 winners in front of runner-up Rafael Bejarano.
Fresh off the biggest win of his career in the Futurity, Miller was voted top trainer. His stable led with earnings of $662,420, and he finished tied for second in the standings.
Doug O’Neill wound up with 16 victories, two more than John Sadler and Miller. O’ Neill had 104 starters at the meet, 50 more than Sadler and 69 more than Miller.
Rosario, who clinched the Autumn meet title with 46 wins, became the first rider to complete a “double double” at the track in 26 years. Rosario has won the Spring/Summer and Autumn meets at Hollywood the last two years, the first jockey to do so since Chris McCarron swept both for four straight years from 1981-84.