10/01/2013 4:51PM

Breeders' Cup Classic: Mike Smith regains mount on Game On Dude

Email
Shigeki Kikkawa
Martin Garcia was aboard Game On Dude when he won the Pacific Classc (above) and in a six-furlong workout Tuesday, but Mike Smith will ride the horse in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Game On Dude, who bypassed the Awesome Again Stakes on Saturday to train straight into the Breeders’ Cup Classic, picked up the pace of his training on Tuesday morning at Santa Anita with a six-furlong drill in 1:12. It was his third drill since his victory in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. His previous two drills were at a half-mile.

Martin Garcia, who rode Game On Dude in the Pacific Classic, was aboard for the work, but Mike Smith, who had won five straight races on Game On Dude before the Pacific Classic, will get the mount back for the Breeders’ Cup, trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday.

Smith had a conflict when Game On Dude last raced because of a commitment to ride Royal Delta the same day at Saratoga.

“Mike started the win streak with Dude, and I understand the loyalty he had for Royal Delta,” Baffert said. “This was always Mike’s horse, and Martin understands. Mike was there first.”

The person who has been able to deftly move all these chess pieces is agent Brad Pegram, who represents both Smith and Garcia.

Smith rode Palace Malice to a second-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Saturday. Palace Malice is scheduled to run in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and now will need a replacement for Smith.

Baffert said Game On Dude “went really nice” is his drill Tuesday.

Karl Deppen More than 1 year ago
I'm sticking with Palace Malice and J.V., although Mike is a money rider [ none better ] P.M. is one of those dangerous ponies that can run in front or off the pace. Looking forward to B.C. day !
Ron Solberg More than 1 year ago
i will have my selection 4 hours before the race.way to soon to try to pick a race a month or so away.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Agreed
Wendy Parrish More than 1 year ago
Call me crazy but Paynter will win the Classic . The Classic will be the race that alludes Game on Dude.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
It is the Classic, anybody who calls you crazy is a know it all, who Will be hating life when paynter hits the wire first, I don't think he will, but that last race was not that bad. I wont call you crazy.
Tom V More than 1 year ago
anyone can ride game on dude to a win no offense to mike but I do not see him winning this classic.
Infinity More than 1 year ago
Payter will be forgetton horse.....good...good..good..........but are you a macho macho man????????????????? you got to be the macho man...recent race over course.....
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
When you think of big races , you think of the best riders. Game on Dude and the Breeders Cup in his back yard again for the second straight year, Mike Smith please. To take off Garcia after that big performance in the Pacific Classic, well , IMO , connections regardless of win , lose or draw where going back to Smith, why ? Because he is the best rider for the job....
Silvertitan777 More than 1 year ago
With JR Velazquez riding Palace Malice in the BC Classic, I think Cross Traffic is now out of the Classic and maybe pointing to the BC Dirt Mile. On the other hand, Royal Delta will now definitely pointing to the Distaff instead of the Classic.
Silvertitan777 More than 1 year ago
Cross Traffic out with a shin injury.
Doug Bear More than 1 year ago
I would've bet on Dude had Garcia remained on him for the BC Classic. Nothing against Smith and his streak, it's just that sometimes a jockey and horse just click that much better! I think that is the case with Garcia and Dude. Yes Smith has his streak, but against whom and not as definitive as Garcia was in the Pacific Classic. This was a surface that he had not liked previously! But I think that sometimes horses respond better to certain jockeys and I think this may cost the dude in the Classic. Garcia takes the speed along effortlessly and the case with Dude in the Pacific Classic best demonstrates how he and the horse elevated his ride! How else do you explain his rating under that speed and distance over a track he has historically not run great over also at 6 yrs of age! It's too bad for the owners and Garcia as I believed he would've won the Classic on his home track and also sealing up horse of the year honors!!! Mark this posting to refer back to on November 3rd and take note!
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I'm not disagreeing with you regarding Jockeys and horses connecting, but his trip was set up by the outside jock on the horse from Canada being more concerned with not letting Blueskiesandrainbows cross over and get to the front that Garcia just took advantage of the bush league move that was going on outside of him. It allowed him to get an uncontested lead. The speed was to his outside and when the speed was trying to keep Mitchells horse out there was no speed with dude to contend with. The effort was good. I'm just not as geeked as others are about it.
Drew More than 1 year ago
i agree
Drew More than 1 year ago
Also, Garcia is the one that works him in the am. so they may have more chemistry...
Vince More than 1 year ago
IT'S THE HORSE....Joe Steiner would have won the Classic on him
Lisa Taylor More than 1 year ago
JV will be replacing Mike on Palace Malice
Jock More than 1 year ago
I like Ron The Greek even better now. I think that Baffert messed up this time. Garcia rode a beautiful race on the Dude and should have been able to ride him back. That was Mike's choice to take off. When a rider does you good you don't change.
Maureen Peatross More than 1 year ago
In all fairness my understanding from Mike's comments before is that when he agreed to ride ROYAL DELTA he was to ride her no matter where she raced or when. That was done before he ever rode GAME ON DUDE. Agreements should be respected. I see GOD a lot on the backside and I know Mike gels very well with GOD. Other than his exercise rider (whom he loves), Mike is great with him. They are a team.