Updated on 07/03/2013 9:01AM

Hollywood Park: Game On Dude to shoulder career-high weight in Gold Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Game On Dude won last year's Hollywood Gold Cup while carrying 124 pounds. He was assigned 127 pounds for Saturday's edition.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Game On Dude, set to defend his title in the Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park, turned in his final prep for that race Monday at Santa Anita with an official clocking of 47.80 seconds for four furlongs. Trainer Bob Baffert said he had Game On Dude going out six furlongs in 1:13.

“He went nice, just cruised around there and galloped out real strong,” Baffert said.

Game On Dude on Sunday was assigned 127 pounds for the Gold Cup. That would be the highest impost of his career, which now numbers 25 races. He has carried 126 pounds four times, all losses.

Game On Dude has won four straight races, including the Santa Anita Handicap, in which he carried 125 pounds to a 7 3/4-length victory while giving runner-up Clubhouse Ride 10 pounds. He subsequently won the April 20 Charles Town Classic by a half-length over Clubhouse Ride while giving him seven pounds, 123-116. That was his most recent start.

Clubhouse Ride was assigned 119 pounds for the Gold Cup, as was Liaison, who, like Game On Dude, is trained by Baffert. Liaison had his final prep Sunday, working five furlongs in 1:00.

Game On Dude won last year’s Gold Cup while carrying 124 pounds. He has won three times in four starts at Hollywood Park.

Others expected for the Gold Cup include Kettle Corn (116 pounds) and Oilisblackgold (115). Possible are Golden Ticket (117) and Batti Man (113).

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Clubhouse Ride is being served up the final Gold Cup at Hollywood Park on a silver plater with only 119lbs............... OUTRAGEOUS !!!!!!!!!!
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
H.O.T.Y. Wise Dan only had to shoulder 128lbs in his last start and to put 127lbs on Game On Dude is an injustice, no way is he in the same league as Wise Dan and to ask him to carry the grandstand is ridiculous. Game On Dude is no Wise Dan and to ask him to tote such weight is reason enough for Mr. Baffert to scratch. OUTRAGEOUS..............
Neil Granowitz More than 1 year ago
I dare Baffert to ship him east for the Whitney or the Woodward. It won't happen because in today's market horses and horse owners do not look to run against the best competition available. Ah for the days of Kelso, John Henry and Forego.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
I'm looking forward to seeing the Dude and Golden Ticke. It should be a memorable one for the final Gold Cup at BHP. Now closing that track is an abomination for its historic origins-alone.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Golden Ticket not coming .
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
I agree with you, Susan - I'm looking forward to seeing The Dude. This horse has tremendous heart. Win or lose, he's always giving his best effort, which is a quality I greatly admire in a horse. Year in, year out, he's always a game fighter! Too bad Golden Ticket won't be there - he's another horse with heart. I also agree with you that losing Hollywood Park is horrible - especially for the incredible history this venerable track has hosted and seen. Some great moments and great horses have graced Hollywood Park. A sad loss.
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
I love your passion Joy, and would agree that Dude is a tremendous horse, but I haven't seen his tremendous heart. He has the talent to run horses off their feet and hold on, but, I can't remember a race where he fought in the lane through the last eighth or so with another horse and prevailed. He either goes wire to wire with no challenges, or in his few loses he just gets run over. Tremendous yes, tremendous heart, no.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Earlier in his career he had several tenacious performances, once when he held off Setsuko in this race I think or maybe it was the big cap. He also fought off a number of speedy types in the 2011 BC classic before getting ambushed in the final strides by Drosselmeyer. In some ways I think he is a little under appreciated right now because of his flop in the BC last year.
Bob Fasching More than 1 year ago
Too bad Craig Lewis doesn't have a rabbit to soften up Game On
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not a Dude fan, but I don't see why he should ship. Lopresti should ship Successful Dan to run in the Gold Cup. Doesn't Pletcher have any older handicap horses to bring over? Nobody ever wants to come to California for the G1s. I wonder if there is something more to this? Maybe some factors we are all missing?
Mark More than 1 year ago
Synthetic surface
Perl More than 1 year ago
True, but it's supposedly the closest thing to dirt of any synth track in the country. Successful Dan would be an interesting horse to ship, but he hasn't looked very good this year and he might not have enough spacing. This race used to be worth more than $500k, I think, but that relatively low purse really limits the interest from east coast shippers.
Mark More than 1 year ago
classic American horses run on dirt. Belmont for the Suburban and Saratoga for the Whitney both have real dirt not the "closest thing" . Suburban serves as a nice prep for the Whitney . Also imo the Whitney carries more weight in the eclipse voting at the end of the year. Just my thoughts . Makes more sense for both dude and the east coasters to stay home for suburban and GC this weekend . then come for Whitney .
B More than 1 year ago
Pletcher's horses don't usually run past the age of three from what I can remember, though I'm sure there has been some exceptions. He seems to be only interested in fast two and three year olds.
Mark More than 1 year ago
He s got two pointing for the suburban. He has cross traffic pointing toward Whitney . He has graydar who already an the Donn and new Orleans handicap this year.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Why does Game on Dude have to ship and seek out "tougher" spots while Wise Dan and Fort Larned can follow a similar schedule from last year? The game is about making money. This is especially true with geldings. Why would anyone want to pay the cost in money, time, and energy to ship a horse for a race that will make it more difficult to make money? Wise Dan could have run in the Shoemaker Mile, a grade 1 race worth over $100k more than the grade 2 Firecracker, but they chose to keep him home for a race he towered over. Unlike Wise Dan, Game on Dude's alternative to the Gold Cup, the Suburban, carries a smaller purse than the Gold Cup and is a grade 2. Plus, the Suburban is around one turn. How does shipping out for the Suburban make financial sense for the connections of Dude?
Mark More than 1 year ago
Wise Dan won 5 consecutive grade 1 races at 5 different tracks including one outside the u.s. he book ended those with two grade 2 wins . One of which came at a 6th different track. Through in a grade 1 win on dirt along with grade 2 and grade 3 on synthetic just for kicks. Dude grade 1 's came on 2 different tracks . All in California. Dude has no graded grass wins. He is not even in WD league. Give me break.
John Smith More than 1 year ago
The reason why Wise Dan is not in the same league as Game On Dude is simple. WD is a turf horse. GOD is a dirt horse. WD is not going to run a mile 1/4 on dirt. Didnt Ron The Greek beat him the last time he tried dirt? How can you even compare these two horses. They are in different divisions.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Mark More than 1 year ago
You mean the same Ron that beat G.o.d. in the BC last year ? But when Wise Dan made his 2012 debut in the Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland, he ran away to a smashing 10 1/2-length victory, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 117, the fastest ever recorded on a synthetic track. That number stood up as the best of the year on any surface until Fort Larned equaled it in winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. Wise Dan also recorded the three fastest turf figures in North America during the year: 110 in the Woodbine Mile, 109 in the Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga, and 107 in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. (The top figure was originally published as a lower number but upgraded as part of an overall revision of the Woodbine turf figures.) His races weren’t faster because Wise Dan usually found himself in races with a moderate early pace; he was never in a race with a half mile fraction faster than 46 seconds. Nevertheless, he earned figures higher than the Eclipse Award turf winners in the last three years, including the great mare Goldikova. Wise Dan was a capable dirt runner, too. Though his only loss of the year came on the dirt − a photo-finish defeat in the Stephen Foster with a figure of 100 − he finished his 2011 campaign by winning the Clark Handicap at Churchill with a solid figure of 105. It is rare enough for Thoroughbreds to excel on two surfaces, but there has never been such a formidable triple threat as Wise Dan. His extraordinary versatility made him a deserving Horse of the Year.
Mark More than 1 year ago
G.o.d clearly is no were near the horse that WD is. You are correct. No contest.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
I wasn't comparing Wise Dan to Game on Dude as a racehorse. Wise Dan was the deserving Horse of the Year of 2012 and has a chance to end up as the best turf miler in North American history. The resaon I brought up Wise Dan is to remind those critical of Game on Dude running in the Hollywood Gold Cup to apply the same logic to the decision to run Wise Dan in the Firecracker. The H. Gold Cup for Dude and the Firecracker for Dan represent races they have already won in past years. If one is going to criticize Dude for running in a "soft" Hollywood Gold Cup, to be fair that person should have criticized the connections of Wise Dan for running in a race they won in 2011. And while there is no comparable alternative to the H. Gold Cup for Game on Dude, there was a richer and more prestigious(grade 1) alternative to the Firecracker, that being the Shoemaker Mile. No one is disputing that Wise Dan has had demanding campaigns. But last year was really the first campaign for Wise Dan as an elite horse. We'll just have to wait and see if his connections seek out even more challenging spots this year. Thus far, all 3 of Wise Dan's wins this year have come over a course he had already won on.
Mark More than 1 year ago
He s run out of new tracks . Are you kidding ? He has ALREADY won grade 1 s on 5 DIFFERENT TRACKS. HES SHIPPED EVERYWHERE ! You fail to recognize that Dude has not one a grade 1 outside california. Also i believrvthe only time he has shipped out of the state for 1 was the bc when he was beat by drosslemeyer. Drosslemeyer nonios Richards kid Ron the Greek flat out much macho man fort learned all finished in front of him in his two races vs the top horses from coast to coast .the reason they don't ship dude us because they want to face easier comp . Period. He's proven a notch below the best . Successful Dan is headed to Saratoga and likely will run in the grade 1 Whitney. Its Saratoga .Its the Whitney. Oh. Dullahan also ran by dude like he was standing still. Only cementing the fact the dude is a notch below the best in the country . He s a big fish in a very small pond in California. That's why they don't ship. WD ships EVERYWHERE!
Mark More than 1 year ago
Let's not forget the powerful grade 3 line up at lone star. When dude shipped and got beat by Awesome Gem
John More than 1 year ago
This is lloking like a great Breeders Cup, lots of really exciting horse in the east, plus Baffert has a loaded gun with his stable ! Game on Dude, Paynter, Midnight Lucky.......................plus, Fast Bullet.........Paynter would be a monster in the BC Mile........................although, that race seems to produce the "BOMB" of the day the last 5-6 years..................... I wonder where Goldencents will end up, the sprint of the Mile ?
Mark More than 1 year ago
God will again be the biggest underlay of the weekend during BC.paynter has a lot to prove vs quality foes. Midnight lucky has to deal with groupie doll and others. Baffert had "loaded gun " last year. It was filled with blanks . O fer .
John Smith More than 1 year ago
No he wont. WD will be shorter than GOD. Everyone thinks because he beat Obviously last year he will do it again. I got news for you.
Mark More than 1 year ago
DavidC More than 1 year ago
Well, now this is a interesting event to watch and wager!, right at this time Game on Dude is probably the best and top older runner in the country and despite him getting the 128 pounds on Sunday I still believe that he'll have enough juice in him to defeat this bunch of top runners still!. However, I think he is vulnerable to a slight extent but not worry about the others cause they ain't on top of their game yet. I pick "Game On Dude" for the win spot in the Gold Cup!
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
You have made a perfectly hedged comment.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Lmao . Picking a 2-5 shot .
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Way to go out on a limb!
prose More than 1 year ago
RaiderFan, your horse, GoD as you call him, better win against these nobodies because come fall when he has to race against horses with real speed he's dead. Let's face it, if he doesn't get the lead he doesn't win.
Perl More than 1 year ago
he doesn't need the lead. Sometimes he take over on the backstretch.