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Updated on 07/10/2013 7:36AM
Hollywood Gold Cup: Game On Dude successfully defends title under 127 pounds
By Jay Privman
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Game On Dude was good even before jockey Mike Smith got on him, but he seems to have gotten even better since. They ran their record to 5 for 5 on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park with a front-running victory in the Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, a win that push Game On Dude past the $5-million mark in career earnings.
As is his custom, Game On Dude ($2.60) secured the early lead, and none of his four rivals was willing to pressure him early. Kettle Corn, last early in the 1 1/4-mile race, made a bold bid to challenge as the field turned into the stretch, but Game On Dude – who was giving Kettle Corn 11 pounds (127-116) – held on under a confident hand ride by Smith to win by a measured length.
Sky Kingdom, like Game On Dude trained by Bob Baffert, finished another 6 3/4 lengths back in third. Clubhouse Ride and Oilisblackgold completed the finish, in that order.
Game On Dude set fractions of 25 seconds, 49.31, 1:12.60, and 1:36.39 en route to a final time of 2:01.88 on a synthetic Cushion Track surface that plays like dirt. Now age 6, Game On Dude has won 14 of 26 starts – he was 9 for 21 before Smith took over -- and the $300,000 winner’s share brought his bankroll to $5,002,158.
Game On Dude also won the Gold Cup last year. The 127 pounds he carried Saturday was the highest impost of his career. He has now won six Grade 1 races.
A gelding, Game On Dude is owned by a partnership that includes Bernie Schiappa, Joe Torre, Debbie Lanni, and Ernie Moody.
“He’s a fighter. If you’re going to beat him, you’ve got to flat run right by him,” said Smith, who said he was cognizant of not wanting to win by more than he required.
“I tried not to win by too far,” he said. “I was really happy with the outcome. He got himself together really quick after the race. He wasn’t gutted. He was well within himself.”
Smith chooses quality over quantity these days, and is making the most of his opportunities. He is 11th in the national standings in purse earnings this year. Everyone above him has ridden at least twice as many horses as Smith, and in some cases as many as four times. But they aren’t riding horses like Game On Dude, or Palace Malice, on whom Smith won the Belmont Stakes last month.
“I really feel good out there. I’m making good decisions. And I’m riding the kind of horses who make good decisions for you,” Smith said.
“Game On Dude, when these horses get to be 6 or 7, and they stay sound, they get really strong. He doesn’t have a soft spot on him. Me, I’ve got a soft spot here and there. I tuck that stuff in.”
Game On Dude will head to Del Mar, where he is expected to make his next start Aug. 25 in the Pacific Classic, a Grade 1, $1 million weight-for-age race in which he finished second last year.
why are all of you worried about game on dude coming east to win a grade 1 race ? do you realize that game on dude is an east coast horse ? he started his racing career at the age of 3 on the east coast. he got moved out to california to take advantage of the soft older division out there. raising your young horse on synthetic surfaces is a big mistake for route runners. this is why midwest and east coast horses dominate 2 turn races out west in recent years.
Because Game on Dude's exploits in the Charles Town Classic is inconvenient for his detractors, they do all they can to minimize the track and the race. Game on Dude's $1.2 million earned in a dirt race back East is whitewashed away as exploits on a bullring aginst "d" level Eastern horses and horsemen. Facts can be just so darn inconvenient. In the last 3 Charles Town Classics, the following trainers have run a horse(in addition to Bob Baffert): Bill Mott, Pletcher, David Fawkes, H. James Bond, Kelly Breen, Jerry Hollendorfer, Kiaran Mc Laughlin, and Shug Mc Gaughey. The following owners have run a horse in at least one of the last 3 Charles Town Classics: West Point, Win Star, George and Lori Hall, Repole, Gary Barber, and the Phipps Stable. And there was even a horse from Al Stall and Claiborne/Dilschneider who wasn't able to run because it was an also-eligible as a result of more than 10 horses being entered. As for the horses, 11 from the last 3 runnings are millionaires, with some like Game on Dude, Duke of Mischief, and Caixa Electronica starting in multiple runnings.
Flat Out would have beat Game on Dude in the Suburban last weekend. No doubt in my mind at BELMONT
I just watched Rachel Alexandra in the 2009 Woodward at Saratoga where every horse challenged her with an insane pace but that's competition. Why do horses let Game On Dude walk thru 3/4 of a race and then try to run its a joke in comparison. I don't know the answer to much respect, Fixed, Class somethings different with these horses like Game On Dude, Verrazzano Heaven forbid a horse challenges before the 1/8 Pole LOL
No soft spot mike when VERY soft fractions. He will fold like a cheap suit when faced eye to eye with the likes of fort larned cross traffic etc .
Last year BC classic results with the east coast taking top 4 spots along with this years triple crown results with the east dominating all three prove the strength of male horses is obviously n the east. Clubhouse ride dudes main competition is a 4 time winner . FOUR ! Kettle Korn ? Really ? Lmao. Dude connections can duck all they want . Until the BC . Then they will be exposed once again on their home track. And if dullahan beats him again that will be the icing on the cake on this fraud .
He earned 900k in the 2011 BCC. He earned about 1.35 million at Chucktown and Lone Star. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But, my new stalker russell seems to have become confused when I said he won most of his earnings outside CA at Charles Town and Lone Star. Maybe he's just mathematically challenged and thinks 900k is more than 1.35 million.
Dude earned $1 mill or 900k by finishing 2nd in the 2011 BC Classic at CD.
Game on Dude has won over $2.3 million, or nearly half his career earnings, OUTSIDE the state of California.
Mark.........Let me make this real easy for you.......Name one horse who might run in the BCC 2013, who you think will beat the Dude. Dont reply if you got no names. Put up or shut up.
- 1.Posted 12/11/2013 03:00PM
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- 5.Posted 12/10/2013 07:22PM