California-bred Rousing Sermon, beaten only a neck by Liaison in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park last month, worked four furlongs Jan. 29 in :47 2/5 for his 3-year-old debut in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 4 at Santa Anita.
“He went real nice, so we’re all ready to go,” Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. Hollendorfer trains the homebred son of Lucky Pulpit for Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams. The chestnut colt is out of the Awesome Again mare Rousing Again.
The Lewis, at 1 1/16 miles with a purse of $200,000, is a major steppingstone to the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) over nine furlongs April 7.
Rousing Sermon rallied with determination despite being six wide to just miss in the 1 1/16-mile CashCall Futurity Dec. 17.
Also expected for the Lewis are two Bob Baffert trainees, the aforementioned Liaison and Sky Kingdom, a son of Empire Maker who was fourth in the CashCall, and Empire Way, who is trained by Mike Harrington.
Joe Talamo, who was aboard Rousing Sermon in the CashCall, has the assignment again in the Lewis.