Updated on 07/10/2013 8:36AM

Hollywood Gold Cup: Game On Dude successfully defends title under 127 pounds

Email
Benoit & Associates
Game On Dude, now 5 for 5 when ridden by Mike Smith, surpasses $5 million in earnings by winning the Hollywood Gold Cup.

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.

 

 

 

jttf More than 1 year ago
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.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
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.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Fact is trainers and owners don't run. Horses do and the two you named duke of mischief and the firmer claimer claixa are by no means great . They are solid . Not worthy of all hype . Just as the dude is not. His grade 1's are all dressed up . Period. Simple. Easy. I am so glad the majority of the betting public fails to read thru the hype . Come on BC !
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Of the 22 horses that have run in the last 3 Charles Town Classics, 11 are millionaires. That's Half! And Clubhouse Ride is just a few thousand dollars away. These horses, NOT including Game on Dude, have accounted for races such as the: Whitney, Met Mile, Stephen Foster, Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic, Eddie Read, Charlie Whittingham, Oaklawn Cap, Gulfstream Park Cap, Hawthorne Gold Cup, Pennsylvania Derby, Louisiana Derby, Swaps, San Diego, Californian, Delta Jackpot, True North, etc. The Charles Town Classic might not be one of the top 5 open races in North America, but neither is it garbage or inconsequential. By offering the largest purse for older males outside the Breeder's Cup, the Charles Town Classic has drawn some quality fields these last 3 years. And since it is a dirt race back East, one simply cannot argue that Game on Dude has not won anything of consequence outside of California. The fact is, this year Game on Dude has already shipped and won a $1.5 million race in the Eastern time zone.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
more incovenient truth.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
Flat Out would have beat Game on Dude in the Suburban last weekend. No doubt in my mind at BELMONT
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LMFAO! Flat Out seriously!
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
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
Mark More than 1 year ago
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 .
Big Bob More than 1 year ago
Agree with everything you said Mark. and "You Feel Lucky" put up or shut up? what?... I know the dude can't pick his races, but if Fink decides to put Wise Dan in the Whitney with FL, Cross Traffic, and Flat Out, it would give the dude who "doesn't have a soft spot on him", a perfect opportunity to "put up or shut up". But I doubt You Feel Lucky is mapping out the dude's race schedule.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Dude may then try Woodward thinking it a softer spot without any speed as those you mentioned would run back on 3 weeks rest which is not favorable. But if Wise Dan skips Whitney for turf stake and wins easily...dude wont come east for Woodward cause Dan too much speed to handle. Would possibly cost em both BC races.
Mark More than 1 year ago
4 weeks between Whitney and Woodward
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Either way..kinda quick return by today's methods. I agree 100% about Dude. But ya gotta give them credit for finding lucrative easy spots. Who has he beat last two years?? If I train him or Paynter they stay out west saving travel and wear n tare on them. Its just smart. With synthetic horses from east in McPeek barn as well as Dullahan and Overanalyze they may still not win.
Big Bob More than 1 year ago
Ya Tom, I'm definitely not blaming his connections, gotta take the easy money when you can get it in life. I just get tired of hearing how great the dude is. He is a very solid consistent horse (and he is great against weak fields), but he just hasn't proved he can beat the very best in the brightest lights. I just think it would pretty amazing to watch and a very good thing for the sport if you had WD, FL, and the dude meet up in the Whitney.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
I agree.
Mark More than 1 year ago
I'll blame the connections. Take a shot in the Whitney for crying out loud. You have made $5 million with this horse in all the soft spots. He supposedly doesn't like the synthetic at del mar . Yet that is the route they are going . If that's the case and you truly believe as the owners that your horse is in top class of the division ship to Saratoga . THE BEST TRACK IN AMERICA with real dirt surface and a $750 k grade 1 vs the world's best dirt horses. Give me a break with the can't blame connections taking the easy $. That's already been done. Ball up and ship the horse to the Whitney . Its what competition is all about. The best facing the best . Period.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Instead the connections as its a tough ship and make excuses. Just ball up or say what is the truth. That you want no part of fort larned or cross traffic and possibly wise Dan . Tough ship for a horse you just called so professional. Yet paynter you are willing to ship all over the country for his third start off his death bed. Doesn't get any more clear to me they are ducking the monsters in the east ..As an owner is want nothing more than to win the Whitney and silence all the critics IF I knew I had a legit threat. These connections know they are up against it come august. Wait until November and a few of theses 3 year olds get real good . This g.o.d. ....
Mark More than 1 year ago
Or as they are doing AGAIN this year keep him in California to face softees over a surface that gives you a built in excuse should dullahan beat him.again and take agleast the easy 2nd place $ and keep the fraud going and get trounced again in your own back yard and come up with some other excuse as to why. Not sure how any true horseman/ true fan can admire connections that don't take on the best if they think they themselves have one. How can you possibly admire the gutless campaign they have put this horse on if you truly believe he is the best dirt route horse in america ? They know they are not . Hence the cupcake graded California / charlestown fraud .
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
Game on Dude is a special horse but I would take Fort Larned any day. Fort Larned paid for my cross country trip to the BC last November and I will always be grateful for him. I dont think any older horse is beating Fort Larned on his best days.
Mark More than 1 year ago
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 .
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
I called it all winter long just how WEAK Goldencents was. His Ragozins were so weak, they JUMPED off the sheet. Nobody listened.
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
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.
russell More than 1 year ago
You are the one that wrote "almost all of those outside CA earnings are from the premiere tracks of Chucktown and Lone Star". Once again you are wrong.
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
nit pik all you want creepy stalker, almost all or most of, reality and fact is as I stated in the above post. Maybe you can spell check for me or find where I should have used a comma. Now get to school and don't let the other grade schoolers take your lunch.
russell More than 1 year ago
Dude earned $1 mill or 900k by finishing 2nd in the 2011 BC Classic at CD.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Game on Dude has won over $2.3 million, or nearly half his career earnings, OUTSIDE the state of California.
Mark More than 1 year ago
How many where grade 1's ?
Mark More than 1 year ago
And how much of that was from the d track bullring?
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I state a fact, and then you race feverishly to minimize it as much as possible. But money is money, and the money from Charles Town holds the same value as money from Saratoga. $2.3 million is a good career. That Game on Dude winning $2.3 million outside of California doesn't fit your narrative doesn't make it any less true.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
well said Jordan.
Mark More than 1 year ago
And the fact he beat the c barn runners outside California in a race not a grade 1 doesnt change the fact he has no signature win vs the top older runners in the country. ZERO grade 1 s outside California. ZERO !
Mark More than 1 year ago
Its where and vs who he earned the $ that is the issue. Not the $ itself which is why he is fraudulent.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
About 40% of the $2.3 million was earned in a grade 1.
Mark More than 1 year ago
In which he DID NOT WIN
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Sir, he most certainly WON the $900k in that race. Did he not? The great thing about a $5 million race is that the horse that crosses the wire first isn't the only one to get paid. Game on Dude ran 2nd in a Breeder's Cup Classic just like Turkoman, Easy Goer, Silver Charm, Giant's Causeway, Medaglia d' Oro, Roses in May, Bernardini, Hard Spun, and Gio Ponti.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Did he win $900k or not in a grade 1? Just answer the simple question. I answered yours.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Yes Jordan He . One of many ? that go unanswereddid.
Mark More than 1 year ago
He did not win the race . Ran 2nd to drosslemeyer. No BC win . No grade 1 win. Also ran. Period.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Mark, if you where a horse owner, would you want to have a horse such as Game on Dude ?
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
another un answered inconvenient question
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
and almost all of those outside CA earnings are from the premiere tracks of Chucktown and Lone Star.
russell More than 1 year ago
Wrong AGAIN ED! So stop posting nonsense. He won $1 million at CD by finishing 2nd in the 2011 BC Classic.
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
russell russell russel, You're an idiot stalker. Maybe I should have said most of those earnings, but you haven't been right about anything yet. He won 900,000, not 1 mill in the 2011 BCC. He has won 1,350,000 at Charles Town and Lone Star. Most of his earnings outside CA was won at Chucktown and Lonely Star. That's a fact. Stalk and follow me around all you want trying to find me wrong about something. Don't you ever get embarrassed being wrong all the time?? Not wrong, not nonsense, but I always appreciate your effort in banging the keyboard with CAPS and yet being so wrong. Silly boy.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Yes, Lone Star, the site of the 2004 Breeder's Cup, and the site of Ghostzapper's only grade 1 win around 2 turns. That fact didn't stop many at drf from proclaiming Ghostzapper the best horse of the 2000s.
Mark More than 1 year ago
How many hoy does dude have ? How many BC wins ? I'll help . ZERO. ZIP. ZILCH. NONE .
zkid9914 More than 1 year ago
How many have 5 Million in the bank?
Mark More than 1 year ago
How many fields at lone star did g.o.d. run against ? Also how much he earn while GETTING BEAT by Awesome Gem at Lone star ? Lmao . His about when duke of mischief beat him at Charleston ?
Mark More than 1 year ago
* how many BC fields/ races did g.o.d. run in at lone star ? I'll help zero . Zip. Zilvh. None.
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
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.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Put up or shut up ? You sound bitter . I think you dude lovers know deep down that is exactly what you and the dude need to do. He got pissed on in the biggest race on his own track. And he got pissed on by Dullahan who SHIPPED IN ON A PLANE FROM THE EAST in the Pacific Classic. He has no signature win vs the games top. ZERO . He has no BC win and no eclipse award . Fort Larned Flat Out Graydar Cross Traffic Ron The Greek Wise Dan Successful Dan Palace MLice Orb Verrazano Oxbow .....etc etc etc
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Gee, Mark, he only asked for ONE!(Note sarcasm here)