The 2-year-old Curlin colt closed late to catch stablemate McKinzie and win by three-quarters of a length, but after an inquiry, stewards disqualified him to third after they determined he interfered with Instilled Regard, who was battling to the wire between the two Bob Baffert-trained horses.
McKinzie, the 1-2 favorite who finished a head in front of Instilled Regard for second, was declared the winner. That gave Baffert his fourth consecutive win in the Cash Call Futurity, which was held at Hollywood Park through 2013 before moving to Los Alamitos. His prior wins in the streak came with Dortmund (2014), Mor Spirit (2015), and Mastery (2016).
Solomini was initially part of a brief speed duel with For Him, then dropped back to third in the backstretch under Flavien Prat as Runaway Ghost rushed up to contest the pace. Runaway Ghost had a head in front through six furlongs, while Solomini backed off to last in the five-horse field.
McKinzie and Instilled Regard made their move in the final turn and drew clear in early stretch, but Solomini joined them with a sixteenth of a mile to go.
Solomini surged past to finish first in a final time of 1:42.57, but made contact with Instilled Regard. McKinzie was also involved in the contact with Instilled Regard, but the stewards determined after examining the head-on replay that he had maintained a straight course, and opted to only disqualify Solomini to third. The decision to disqualify Solomini was a 2-1 majority decision among the stewards.
"I didn't think there was going to be a change," Baffert said. "(McKinzie) had a rough trip around the first turn and he got a little tired at the end. It's a long stretch and he hooked up with (Instilled Regard) early. Prat rode a great race just sitting behind them. Unfortunately (Solomini) will lay on horses in the lane and you have to be careful with him. Prat might have gotten a little over-aggressive. It's really too bad they took him down. He was the better horse today."
"We got carried out in the first turn by (Runaway Ghost)," added jockey Mike Smith, who rode McKinzie. "As far as what happened in the stretch, I just rode my race, he kept trying, and we were blessed enough to get kissed into the win."