12/02/2012 5:40PM

Hollywood Park: San Antonio first up for Game On Dude in 2013

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Trainer Bob Baffert says that aside from skipping a trip to Dubai, Game On Dude's schedule for 2013 will closely resemble the pattern he followed this year.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Game On Dude is likely to start his 2013 campaign in the same race that launched his 2012 season – the $200,000 San Antonio Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Santa Anita on Feb. 3.

Saturday, Game On Dude made his final start of 2012, winning his fifth stakes of the year in the $242,500 Native Diver Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park. Ridden by Mike Smith, Game On Dude fought for the early lead with the 3-year-old Nonios, took the lead on the first turn, and won by 1 1/4 lengths over Nonios in a field of five.

Sunday, trainer Bob Baffert said Game On Dude will have a California-based campaign in 2013 geared toward the major races for older horses. The goals would include the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2, the Californian Stakes and Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park in the summer, the Pacific Classic at Del Mar, and the Awesome Again Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic at the Santa Anita fall meeting.

After his win in the San Antonio, Game On Dude won the Californian, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Awesome Again Stakes this year, but was second in the Pacific Classic and seventh as the 6-5 favorite in the BC Classic. He made one trip outside of California, finishing 12th in the Dubai World Cup in the Middle East. That race is not on the 2013 schedule, Baffert said.

“We’ll keep him happy and hope that he can duplicate what he did outside of Dubai,” Baffert said. “We’ll run him where we think he’s competitive. Hopefully, we can have a good year with him.”

Owned by the partnership of Bernie Schiappa, Mercedes Stable, Lanni Family Trust, and Joe Torre, Game On Dude did not start in the 2012 Santa Anita Handicap, going from the San Antonio in early February to the Dubai World Cup in late March. Game On Dude won the Santa Anita Handicap in 2011.

The win in Saturday’s Native Diver gives Game On Dude a career record of 10 wins in 22 starts and earnings of $3,144,658. He won 5 of 8 starts and $1,010,000 in 2012, but lost his chance for a year-end title with the loss in the BC Classic.

Nonios will not face Game On Dude in his next few starts.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Nonios will make his next start in the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles on Jan.

12, according to assistant trainer Dan Ward. The $200,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 2 is another goal before the Big Cap.

Nonios was within a head of Game On Dude in the stretch on Saturday, but could not keep pace late. He finished 4 1/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher Kettle Corn.

“He was aggressive and he ran his heart out,” Ward said.

Richard’s Kid, second to Game On Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup, finished fourth on Saturday, 16 lengths behind Game On Dude. Trainer Doug O’Neill said on Sunday that he started Richard’s Kid too soon following a fifth-place finish in the BC Classic.

“I think he regressed from the Breeders’ Cup,” O’Neill said. “I think he bounced.”

O’Neill said the San Antonio could be Richard’s Kid’s next start.

“We’ve got plenty of time,” he said.

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
I'm glad we have GOD out West where he belongs to prepare for the B.C. Classic, maybe some of theEast Coast horse's should consider coming out West to take GOD on and let's see just how well they fare with him instead of just racing against him in one race only, that does not gage just how good GOD is based on one bad race he had, maybe it was not his day that day. Let's see if the East Coast based horse's take up the challenge.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
DULLAHAN! YOU BEEN ASLEEP?
ChristinaA More than 1 year ago
I wish they would bring him to the east coast in the fall to compete. It would really test how good he is.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Have you ever noticed that the people who are "good" at something...I mean really good, don't run around, trying to convince everyone how good they are. Kind of like people with alot of money don't run around flashing it all the time.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Kinda like actions speak louder than words. Proof is in the finish product. I get you Jeff. Still prefer the little guys though.
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Yes Jeff and Thomas I agree with you both. Alot of huffing and puffing of ego's, concerning Baffert and Pletcher. As if they care or are remotely interested in all the varied opinions of how they operate daily. Their chief concern is the owners, period. Alot of comments about the vagaries of the sport, often result in people seeing their money lost on the wrong result in their eyes and pockets. To the braggards who shout from the treetops how much they have won post race, you may as well post 5 numbers and the powerball the next day. Post it pre-race and I will be the first to say well done.
Frank More than 1 year ago
Bob, take care of of this griddy tough big hearted gelding -- I want to see him race and win many more. Great ride by Mike and an ultra gutsy performance by the great gelding --
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
"We'll run him where we think he'll be competitive" Baffert said. On Sunday Baffert said Game On Dude will have a California based campaign in 2013. Case closed.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
And is this not what you would do with your own horse?
Rodney More than 1 year ago
What is your point? who the hell gives a monkey's toss about your opinion? They own them and train them as they wish. You may be as brilliant as you look at yourself in the mirror, stick your handicapping genius on here for us all to witness, BEFORE you know the results. Then we'll be impressed by your vast knowledge.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
From your tone I'm guessing you may be related to someone you think I'm disrespecting simply by quoting them. Or, the kids were picking on you on the playground again. You don't understand the point as you are a late chimer and haven't been privy to the conversation which prompted my post directly related to said conversations. Another guess, but you probably wouldn't understand it even if you were privy. Never challenge someone to something when you know nothing about them, there is a good chance, with you, more than a good chance that you might embarrass yourself.
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Playground? Don't be childish. I can understand you perfectly, and don't condescend either. Go ahead embarass me with your towering pompass knowledge.
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Pompass? LMFAO!!!!
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Mental slip....was thinking pompous a**....Chris. I'm sure you've heard the saying before.....
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Wow, 7 thumbs down in 35 minutes, you still up Curtis V Slewster? so funny you worry about such nonsenical garbage.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Not to worry Rodney, Horse Cents and a few others here find comfort in hitting the refresh button and "thumbing" over and over. Now that's childish.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Watch
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Hear you loud and clear Jeff.... Mentally some people never leave the playground. Liked your comment about if you're on top of your game theres no need to blow your own trumpet....unless you're Louis Armstrong.
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Only minus 5? The poster with an obsession of an old nag from the distant past is slipping.... so funny......
richard montgomery More than 1 year ago
Send Game and Kid to Dubai fast !!!
Frank More than 1 year ago
No he has nothing to prove out in Dubai. Keep this great race horse in America and California and let him do what he does best. He loves it out there he is a true cali!
ATOWN WHAT More than 1 year ago
It's unfortunate that only Geldings seemingly are allowed to run to their later years, as more and more owners take mediocre 3 year olds and send them to stand. I'll take em where I can get em I guess. Looking forward to Dude next season.
Mark More than 1 year ago
I do like one of Bafferts two year olds he debuted last sunday . Belvin is his name. Out of Empire Maker. Half to Apriority. He is one i ll be keeping an eye on.
Gerardo Helguera More than 1 year ago
Watch out for a horse named Powerful out of the Drysdale barn. He is close of making his dabut and has very high expectations.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
'Out of Empire Maker'... That should have bee interesting to watch. Only in Cali.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it just me or E. Maldonado, has become the best rider in So Cal? I think this guy is the future top rider out their!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Now see, abuncha fellas said Bob wouldn,t ship the horse and here he goes right on to San Antonio. See!