Updated on 07/10/2012 1:07PM

Hollywood Park: Game On Dude outruns Baffert stablemate Richard's Kid in Hollywood Gold Cup

Benoit & Associates
Chantal Sutherland becomes the first female rider to win the Hollywood Gold Cup aboard heavy favorite Game On Dude.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Game On Dude was leading the field into early stretch in Saturday’s $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Betfair Hollywood Park when jockey Chantal Sutherland heard Rafael Bejarano closing in on Richard’s Kid.

Bejarano was shouting at Sutherland that he was going to catch her, which only made Sutherland more determined not to let a win in the Gold Cup get away.

“Rafael said, ‘Here I come, Chantal,’” Sutherland said. “I got a little nervous when Rafael said that.”

Sutherland gave Game On Dude a few reminders with her whip, and the veteran 5-year-old responded. He maintained a clear lead through the stretch to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Richard Kid.

Game On Dude ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.19 on a track that has produced slow times in recent weeks.

The victory gave Sutherland the distinction of being the first woman rider to win the Gold Cup. The result provided trainer Bob Baffert with a sweep of the exacta in the Grade 1 Gold Cup. The win gave Game On Dude a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. Last year at Churchill Downs, Game On Dude led into the stretch of the BC Classic, but was caught in the final furlong by Drosselmeyer.

The threat from Richard’s Kid worked to Game On Dude’s benefit, Baffert said.

“He sort of needs the competition,” Baffert said. “It looked like Richard’s Kid would get him, but he dug in. That was a tough Gold Cup. Those are Grade 1 horses.”

Game On Dude ($2.80) was expected to win Saturday’s Gold Cup. A convincing winner of the Grade 2 Californian Stakes here on June 2, Game On Dude stalked pacesetter Spud Spivens for the first five furlongs of the Gold Cup and took the lead midway on the backstretch.

Carrying top weight of 124 pounds, Game On Dude slowly pulled away from 19-1 Spud Spivens on the turn to hold a commanding lead.

Richard’s Kid, the winner of the 2009 and 2010 Pacific Classic and 2010 Goodwood Stakes, was as far back as sixth in the field of seven, but made noticeable headway on the leader on the turn. Despite his hollering, Bejarano said he thought he was going to finish second.

“I knew I’d finish second, but I had to do something,” he said. “He showed me a big kick and he didn’t quit. The winner and my horse were the only two horses running at the end. They were much the best.”

Richard’s Kid won the minor Prove It Stakes here in June. He raced in Dubai in 2011 and earlier this year, losing five starts.

Kettle Corn, second to Game On Dude in the Californian, closed from fifth to finish third, 7 3/4 lengths behind the winner. Spud Spivens finished fourth, followed by the filly Love Theway Youare, Anthony’s Cross, and Thirtyfirststreet.

The win gave Game On Dude his third stakes win of 2012. He won the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita in February before a dull 12th in the Dubai World Cup in March.

The result was largely what Baffert, and the public expected. Richard’s Kid was the 5-2 second choice. The $1 exacta returned just $2.70.

 “We had to run one-two,” Baffert said.

Game On Dude, a gelding by Awesome Again, races for Bernie Schiappa, Mercedes Stable, the Lanni Family Trust, and Joe Torre. Game On Dude has won 8 of 18 starts and $2,644,658.

Schiappa said the victory left him with a sense of relief.

“I was more nervous about that race than any of them,” he said.

Owning a share in the top older horse in California, and arguably the nation, can do that to a person.


David Brandt More than 1 year ago
Game On Dude is my favorite horse. Best to you Chantel.
john petrig More than 1 year ago
This years race was 12 lengths slower (2:04 compared to 2:01.3). Terrible field combined with Hollywood Park trying every possible way to get carryovers made for a slow, bad race. They have turned over the surface and Baffert is still crushing them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Track surface has been playing a good 10-15+ lengths slower in any race run 7F and longer for the past 3 weeks thereabouts.
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
NOt another one of those time guys....................I gues Monarchos was better than Sunday Silence have in the Derby 3 seconds faster
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
this was a one horse race,what a crappy field,after the winner those were a bunch of handicapp types,a few years ago you would be ashamed to nominate these horses to a gr1 race like this,by how much would lava man,cigar,siphon,skip away,alysheba beat this field 10 lenghts maybe.
David Brandt More than 1 year ago
For some reason CHEYENNE is not connecting. I need drf to fix this. I am trying to answer David Brandt.
David Brandt More than 1 year ago
The thing is... I agree totally with David Brandt. It means a lot to women to have Chantal as a female jockey. Actually the meaning is Song and Stone... We just love her.
David Brandt More than 1 year ago
The name CHANTAL IS... ...of old French origin meaning "stone" and "song" A film called CHANTAL (2007) made in and around LA is about a niave and innocent woman wanting to make it big in Hollywood. She is a woman from the AMERICAN HEART. This fits Ms. Sutherland very well. It is with pleasure we watch her WIN. She LOVES Game on Dude. That is obvious. And...it is lovely to see Mr. Baffert give her the support and opportunities she deserves. We hope to see much more of her here in America soon....
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
News out of Europe: Black Caviar ended her quarantined today and is departing England (today) heading to her homeland, Australia. She'll arrive in 18 to 20 hours of fligh. Bon Voyage, Black Caviar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
Goody bye, and thanks for the memories!
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Congrats, Chantal!! :) Glad you saw Kid coming. Would have been horrible to see a replay of that whole "Drosselmeyer" debacle.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Oh wait!!! Bejarano shouted at her!!! What a 'maroon!' He might have pulled it off he just crept up on her quietly. Glad that didn't happen.
Ronnie Malo Rodriguez More than 1 year ago
This is a good older horse but he's gonna be suspect at 1 1/4 at the bc. Richards Kid is not in the same leaugue as some of the other top division leaders, somebody else is gonna run him down in the Breeders Cup. He's got homefield adv. but someone is gonna jump up and beat him
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
"And? ..... "People have opinions; Horses have the facts". (D.Wayne Lucas)
JDS0810 More than 1 year ago
I agree that there will be much stiffer competition in the BC but the Santa Anita dirt surface will play more to Game On Dude's style than the surface at Hollywood Park has been playing. He may be suspect at the distance but training and running over this Hollywood Park demanding surface can only help him...
Jordan More than 1 year ago
But even so, I think Game on Dude wants 10 furlongs more than most of the top older males. He proved that in last year's Classic. Watching the Foster, it didn't look like Nate's Mineshaft or Wise Dan wanted another eighth of a mile. And none of the Suburban horses are established at 10 furlongs, with the exception of Stay Thirsty and he didn't run well in the Suburban. Ask yourself, which top Classic contenders have won a grade 1 at 10+ furlongs? How about a grade at 10+ furlongs around 2 turns? Game on Dude, Richard's Kid, Ron the Greek, Union Rags, Stay Thirsty. Flat Out won the Jockey Club Gold Cup at 10 furlongs, but around 1 turn(1 and half turns). Royal Delta has a grade 1 at 10 furlongs around 2 turns.
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
only one trainer in calf has all the good horses thats why Rosario got out of there. He didn't ride for him. Just wait till you see the field sizes at Del Mar thats whats wrong with this game the owners are killing it by using one or two trainers.
Zakk W. More than 1 year ago
+1. It's so easy for Baffert to win every race when he's got the best horses, absolutely no competition for him, might as well hand him the winners circle. Soon they will be running match races with the lack of horses in California. Rosario will find out real soon how tough the jockey colony is in NY, not like California where his only competition was Bejarano. Hopefully Ron Anderson will end up with his book & they will stay on the East Coast.