05/11/2010 12:00AM

Game On Dude joins list of Belmont hopefuls

Email

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Game On Dude's name can be added to the list of Belmont Stakes starters to emerge in the last week. On Saturday, Game On Dude won the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Derby.

Others who have recently been mentioned for the Belmont include Ice Box, Fly Down, and Uptowncharlybrown.

In the Lone Star Derby, which was run at 1 1/16 miles, Game On Dude closed strongly for a 4 1/2-length win. He earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 95.

"We're going to run him in the Belmont," trainer Bob Baffert said of the Grade 1, $1 million race June 5 at Belmont Park. "He should fit that track, and I think the mile and a half won't be a problem for the way he's bred."

Game On Dude is a son of Awesome Again, who won the Breeders' Cup Classic in 1998. The Lone Star Derby win came in Game On Dude's fifth start and his second for Baffert after he was purchased privately in March.

Game On Dude, who races for the Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable, and Bernard Schiappa, was initially going to pass on the Lone Star Derby after a flight could not be arranged from Kentucky to Texas. The horse had even worked three furlongs the morning of entries in order to gain approval to wear blinkers for a future start. But soon after the work, Baffert received a call from Jeanette Hughes, assistant racing secretary at Lone Star, informing him that the Lone Star Derby was coming up light on horses.

"She told me, 'You've got to bring this horse,' " Baffert said. "I said, 'I just worked him out of the gate.' She said, 'You've got to bring him.' "

The decision was then made to van Game On Dude to Lone Star.

"For him to work from the gate, be put on van and ship to Dallas, then win the derby like that, he's a pretty nice horse," Baffert said. "The raw talent is there. He's just coming around.

"I think the horse will get better with age."

The week before the Lone Star Derby, Baffert had been chasing his fourth win in the Kentucky Derby. He had the favorite for the race, Lookin At Lucky, who finished sixth after a troubled trip. The victory by Game On Dude gave Baffert his fourth victory in the Lone Star Derby.

"As soon as Game On Dude won," Baffert said, "a friend sent me a text saying, 'I knew you'd get your fourth derby. I just didn't know it was going to be a derby in Texas.' "

Baffert's other Lone Star Derby winners are Anet, Wanna Runner, and Mythical Power. He has won the Kentucky Derby with Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and War Emblem.

Star Guitar targets La.-bred stakes

Star Guitar was freshened following his fourth-place finish in last month's Grade 3, $200,000 Texas Mile at Lone Star and is targeting the $100,000 Louisiana Showcase Classic at Evangeline Downs on July 3, trainer Al Stall Jr. said. The 1 1/16-mile race is for 4-year-olds and up bred in Louisiana. Star Guitar is based at Louisiana Downs.

"He's in light training right now," Stall said.

Star Guitar entered the Texas Mile off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap at 1 1/8 miles and found himself at a tactical disadvantage.

"The track was speed-oriented with the rain the night before," Stall said. "And we were coming from nine furlongs.

"We were playing catch-up the whole time."

Star Guitar, a multiple stakes winner of $851,958, races for his breeder, Brittlyn Stable.

Brittlyn Stable also campaigns recent Louisiana Downs maiden winner Good Human Bean, a 3-year-old half-sister to stakes winners Brother Bean, an earner of $434,460, and Mean Butterbean. Good Human Bean won her maiden May 2, drawing out by 14 lengths for an 86 Beyer.

"She sure looks like she might be a potential Louisiana stakes horse," Stall said.

Good Human Bean is by Langfuhr.

Longtime agent Gilbert dies

Elaine Gilbert, a mother of 10 who worked as a jockey's agent from 1972 to 2005, died Friday in Beaumont, Texas, from complications of a stroke. She was 74.

Gilbert, who in the early 1970s was the agent for Randy Romero, spent most of her career at Delta Downs. Other riders she represented included the late Sam Thompson, Gilbert Ortiz, John Hamilton, Allen Dupuy, Teddy Wolf, and Buck Harris.

"My dad was a trainer and that's pretty much how she got started," said Cindy Leigh, one of Gilbert's daughters and an HBPA representative at Delta Downs.

"She just loved horse racing."

Gilbert is survived by husband, Ray Lee Gilbert, and all of her children, including David Gilbert, a trainer; Doug Gilbert, a valet; Linda Carrier, bookkeeper for trainer Janet VanBebber; and Gayla Bustamante, who works at a veterinary clinic in Louisiana.