04/10/2011 7:02PM

Charles Town Classic: Flores to ride Game On Dude

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Benoit & Associates
Chantal Sutherland rode Game On Dude (right) to victory in the Santa Anita Handicap, but David Flores will ride the horse in Saturday's Charles Town Classic.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Game On Dude, who won the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5, will be ridden by David Flores in the $1 million Charles Town Classic in West Virginia on Saturday, trainer Bob Baffert said.

Flores will replace Chantal Sutherland, who won the first Grade 1 race of her career on Game On Dude in the Big Cap.

Baffert said Sunday that the jockey switch is a reflection of the layout at Charles Town, which has a track with a six-furlong circumference. Flores, currently tied for 10th in the Santa Anita jockey’s standings, is the second-leading rider in history at Fairplex Park at the Los Angeles county fair in Pomona, a track with a five-eighths-mile circumference. Tracks with a circumference of less than a mile are commonly known as bullrings.

“It’s a one-shot deal for the bullring,” Baffert said. “It’s a funny track. She’ll ride him back, win, lose, or draw. She hasn’t ridden there, and David Flores has ridden there. I looked at last year’s chart, and there was a lot of clipped heels going on.”

Flores, 43, has never ridden Game On Dude, who has won 4 of 8 starts and $852,658. Game On Dude won his first Grade 1 race in the Big Cap. He missed a start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup last month because of an abscess in a foot.

Game On Dude is one of five candidates from Southern California for the Charles Town Classic, a group that includes Setsuko and Quindici Man, who were second and third in the Santa Anita Handicap; Acclamation, a Grade 1 winner in 2010; and Awesome Gem, winner of the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup. Flores rode Awesome Gem to a second in the 2010 Charles Town Classic, but the mount will go to Travis Dunkelberger, according to trainer Craig Dollase.