07/01/2012 8:22PM

Hollywood Gold Cup: Game On Dude, Richard's Kid work on even terms

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Benoit & Associates
Game On Dude, winning the Grade 2 Californian, is the probable heavy favorite for Saturday's Hollywood Golf Cup.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – At least in a workout, someone has gotten close to Game On Dude in California.

At Santa Anita on Sunday, trainer Bob Baffert worked Game on Dude and Richard’s Kid in company. They are his two hopes for Saturday’s $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Game On Dude and Richard’s Kid finished the workout evenly, Baffert said, although Game On Dude was given a six-furlong time of 1:13.60, .20 of a second faster than Richard’s Kid.

Judging from recent results, the margin between them may be greater in the Grade 1 Gold Cup, which is run over 1 1/4 miles on Hollywood Park’s synthetic main track.

This year, Game On Dude has won 2 of 3 starts, and has been unbeatable in California. He won the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes by 5 1/4 lengths on Feb. 5 and the Grade 2 Californian Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths on June 2. In between, he was 12th of 13 in the $10 million Dubai World Cup in the Middle East on March 31.

Sunday’s workouts were a final tune-up for both Game On Dude and Richard’s Kid for the Gold Cup.

“They were just cruising around there,” Baffert said. “It’s all systems go.”

Baffert will be seeking his fourth win in the Hollywood Gold Cup. He won the race last year with First Dude, with Game On Dude second by a nose.

Saturday, both of his horses have chances, although Game On Dude will be heavily favored.

Richard’s Kid, the winner of the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar in 2009 and 2010, raced in Dubai in 2011 and earlier this year, going winless in five starts. He rebounded to win the minor Prove It Stakes over 1 3/8 miles here on June 8, his first start for Baffert since October 2010.

Game On Dude, who will be ridden by Chantal Sutherland, has been assigned high weight of 124 pounds for the Gold Cup, four more than Richard’s Kid, the mount of leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

Other probable starters in an expected small field are Kettle Corn and Uh Oh Bango, who will carry 117 pounds each; Spud Spivens, at 114; and Thirtyfirststreet, at 112.