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Hollywood Park notes: Smith will ride Game On Dude in Native Diver
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has gained the mount on Game On Dude for the $250,000 Native Diver Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 1, trainer Bob Baffert said Friday.
Smith will be the third jockey in four races for Game On Dude, the leading older male in California this year. Baffert made the decision in the weeks after Game On Dude finished a disappointing seventh as the 6-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. The loss eliminated Game On Dude from consideration for Horse of the Year.
Baffert said he chose Smith hoping that Game On Dude can have a better start in the Native Diver, following trouble at the start of the BC Classic.
“The start is so important,” Baffert said. “He lost position in the first few jumps. Once he gets shuffled, he loses.”
Smith has never ridden Game On Dude, a 5-year-old gelding who races for a partnership and has won 9 of 21 starts and $2,994,658.
Chantal Sutherland had the mount from March 2011 until August of this year, a span that included wins by Game On Dude in the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap and a runner-up finish in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (to the Smith-ridden Drosselmeyer). Earlier this year, Sutherland rode Game On Dude to a win in the Hollywood Gold Cup and a second to Dullahan in the Pacific Classic in August.
After that race, Baffert chose Bejarano, who rode Game On Dude to a win in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29 and was aboard for the loss in the BC Classic.
Last Tuesday, Smith rode Game On Dude in a five-furlong workout in 59.60 seconds at Santa Anita.
On Friday, Baffert emphasized that he plans to “spread around” the mounts of his stable in coming months.
Thursday, Baffert had to follow that plan when he swept the first four positions in a field of five in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes for 2-year-olds over seven furlongs with Really Mr Greely (ridden by Julien Leparoux), Super Ninety Nine (Bejarano), Shakin It Up (Martin Garcia), and Z Big Apple (Joe Talamo).
Baffert said that Really Mr Greely, who won the Prevue Stakes by a half-length after leading throughout, will be considered for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity over 1 1/16 miles here Dec. 15.
Hollywood-Los Alamitos double
Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos will present a $2 daily double linking the last race at Hollywood Park with the first race at Los Alamitos, beginning this Sunday.
Called the “405 Double,” for the freeway accessible from both tracks, the bet will be offered only on Sundays through the end of the Hollywood Park fall meeting on Dec. 16.
This weekend, the bet starts with a maiden claimer for 2-year-old fillies over six furlongs at Hollywood Park at approximately 5 p.m. and ends with a $5,000 claimer over 4 1/2 furlongs at Los Alamitos at approximately 5:30 p.m.
The Los Alamitos race has a purse of $20,000. Los Alamitos is restricted by legislation to Thoroughbred races over 4 1/2 furlongs, with claiming prices of $5,000 or less.
Think that either Tyler baze or Rosie N would be much better out of the gate than Mike Smith? Even Bejarano who you took off is much better?Maybe you should ride him yourself if you think Mike is the one.I always liked Mike even when he started in NY but he isn't the best leaving the gate.Eddie Prado is much better as well.
Nobody during this Santa Anita Breeders Cup in two-turn races on the dirt came back from more than 1 1/2 length behind at the quarter mile. It was all about the start, and this was certainly discussed with Bejarano. But instead of asking more of Dude to get the necessary early positioning, after an unfortunate start, Rafael checked the horse. In a five million dollar race... If the jockey had studied the changed bias that was in effect during the BC, rather than rely on a home track advantage that earned him zero BC wins, he would have been more aggressive early on.
Good luck, Mike! You have nothing to prove, IMO!
Why in the "HELL" doesn't Bobby Bodie Baffert, ride his OWN Damn Horses? and GET off the BACKS of the Jocks that take his ABUSE. Arrogant Moron,Thinks Mike Smith is a better gate rider than Bejarano, that's a real joke. If you want the Horse out of the Gate Bobby then Hire Tyler Baze or Edward Maldonado the "BEST" in the WEST....
bob baffert is the best that ever was, the best now and the best that will ever be. end story.
Baffert still complaining about the Breeders cup start? He didn't get a bad start, he was outrun very early, had a great postion only a few lengths off, clear down the backstretch, no excuses. The result was predictable, and if pushed hard early he would have finished up the track even worse than he did. So now he'll catch a soft southern CA field, most likely win as favorite, and Smith will be the reason? Ridiculous. So now it's win or get off.
Has This Horse Had It??? Now An Aging Jockey!!! What Next???
Good luck mike, you're going to need it! I really hope he wins with Game On Dude!
bb is bb, he can afford to change riders as he pleases, but if he is worried about the start, why doesn't he go to tyler baze , if tyler is truley over his addiction and his head is straight, he is the best in atleast the west
Just making yourself look worse and worse, Roberto. When you take responsiblity for your horses not running up to par, only then will you gain the respect back from the fans. Not right what you've done to RB and Chantal, lately, and others in the past ie. Gomez, Garcia, Espinoza, even Smith. Its goingt to be hilarious to see the same horses off the board, again.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 2.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
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- 5.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM