10/01/2013 5:51PM

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.