06/07/2013 2:37PM

Hollywood Park: Game On Dude back on target for Gold Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Game On Dude worked five furlongs on Thursday, his first work since May 27.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Game On Dude, California’s top handicap horse, is back on course for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 6 after a brief illness scare last week.

Thursday at Santa Anita, Game On Dude worked five furlongs in 1:00.40, his first workout since May 27. On May 31, Baffert expressed concern about Game On Dude’s well-being after the 6-year-old gelding did not finish his feed and showed an elevated temperature. Baffert said that Game On Dude’s appetite returned last weekend and that the temperature subsided.

“He never really got sick,” Baffert said on Friday.

Baffert said that Game On Dude “needed” the workout on Thursday. Game On Dude is unbeaten in three starts this year, including the Santa Anita Handicap in March and the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic in West Virginia in his most recent start, on April 20.

Game On Dude will be favored in the Gold Cup, which is run over 1 1/4 miles. The race is expected to include the first three finishers of the Grade 2 Californian Stakes on June 1 – Clubhouse Ride, Liaison, and Oilisblackgold.