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Hollywood Park: San Antonio first up for Game On Dude in 2013
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.
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.
I wish they would bring him to the east coast in the fall to compete. It would really test how good he is.
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.
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 --
"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.
Send Game and Kid to Dubai fast !!!
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.
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.
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!
Now see, abuncha fellas said Bob wouldn,t ship the horse and here he goes right on to San Antonio. See!
- 1.Posted 12/04/2013 11:20AM
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- 5.Posted 12/02/2013 02:02PM