10/18/2011 6:44PM

Awesome Gem to miss Breeders' Cup

Tom Keyser
Awesome Gem will be given 60 days off to deal with a hind end problem.

Awesome Gem will not make a fifth straight appearance in the Breeders' Cup.

Awesome Gem, an 8-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again, has been taken out of training because of  a hind end issue that will force him to be given 60 days off, according to Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds, the owners of Awesome Gem. That means Awesome Gem will be forced to miss next month's Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs. Awesome Gem was being considered for either the Classic or the Dirt Mile.

Awesome Gem has competed in a Breeders' Cup race each of the last four years. In 2007, he finished third to Curlin in the Classic; in 2008, he ran sixth to Goldikova in the Mile; in 2009 he ran seventh to Zenyatta in the Classic; in 2010 he was seventh to Eldaafer in the Marathon.

Awesome Gem has a record of 9-15-5 from 47 career starts. He has earned $2,738,270. His biggest victory came in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in 2010, where he beat odds-on favorite Rail Trip.

This year, Awesome Gem won the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap and the Grade 3 Longacres Mile. Most recently, he finished late-running second to Game On Dude in the Grade 1 Goodwood at Santa Anita.

Finley said that Awesome Gem will attempt to comeback in 2012 as a 9-year-old.