07/25/2011 11:31AM

First Dude retired with tendon injury

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Shigeki Kikkawa
First Dude, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 9, has been retired with a tendon injury.

DEL MAR, Calif. – First Dude, who won the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 9, came out of the race with a tendon injury to a front leg and has been retired, trainer Bob Baffert said Monday morning at Del Mar.

“It showed up about a week after the race,” Baffert said. “We walked, jogged, and galloped him, and then it came up. It’s pretty small, but there’s no such thing as a small tendon.”

First Dude remains at Hollywood Park. He did not travel with Baffert’s contingent that is now stabled at Del Mar.

“I’ve been in deep depression over this,” Baffert said. “It’s sickening. That horse was so sound. He had legs on him like two-by-fours. Now I’m down to one Dude, the last Dude.”

First Dude and stablemate Game On Dude ran one-two for Baffert in the Gold Cup. Earlier this year, Game On Dude won the Santa Anita Handicap. Game On Dude is pointing to the Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic here Aug. 28.

First Dude, a colt by Stephen Got Even owned and bred by Don Dizney, had won three straight races for Baffert, who took over as his trainer earlier this year. Last year, when First Dude was trained by Dale Romans, he finished second in the Preakness Stakes. He won 4 of 17 starts and more than $1.4 million.