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.

Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
game on dude is a standout,,,,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish Churchill would run the Stephen Foster 2 week earlier so more of those horses would run in the Hollywood Gold Cup. The Foster being where it is hurts the HGC and Suburban. Churchill should move the Foster to the first Saturday in June.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
That's Belmont Stakes day. Die hard handicappers like me really want the Stephen Foster to have its own Saturday with all the juicy undercards like the Regret, Matt Winn and Fleur de Lis - although the Fleur de Lis has been drawing very short fields lately. And what happened to the Jefferson Cup? I've always enjoyed that race, several winners had gone on to become consistent runners on turf like Inca King, Tizdejavu, King Cugat and Banned.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
Game On Dude will leave this small group of hard knockers and win by open lengths.
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
" six-furlong time of 1:13.60 for Game on Dude" I can't remember the last time Baffert worked this horse this slow. I don't know what to make of it. He usually works him 1:11 flat (or faster). My money is on Richard's Kid this Saturday. The writing is on the wall, I think.
Steve More than 1 year ago
I can remember the last time. If you read the article, Richard's Kid went 1:13.80
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
No, I'm talking about Game on Dude. As for Richard's Kid it's a great workout for him since he's typically works in 1:14 and change. Game on Dude never worked this slow leading up to big races. He may have worked slower in his non stakes prep racess, but when the game is on the line such as this one with $500,000 and a GrI status, Baffert usually zipped him in 1:11 or faster.
Perl More than 1 year ago
I agree, Paul. This isn't a great sign for Game On Dude. Might be time to take a shot against the big fave. He ran huge in his first start after Dubai and might be sitting on an off race.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Always remember that time is relative. The Hollywood main track has been playing slow in the past few days. That's why Camp Victory earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 112 going 7f in 1:22:75 while Drill was assigned 93 going 7f in 1:22:88 in May.
Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
your money is on richards kid and soon after in the trash can,,ripped in a thousand pieces