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Hollywood Park: Smith's clutch decision helps Game On Dude win the Native Diver
By Jay Privman
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Mike Smith paid attention. Whether it was stated or inferred, there was no doubt that the reason he had received the mount on Game On Dude for the Grade 3, $242,500 Native Diver Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday was because of dissatisfaction with the way Game On Dude was ridden in recent starts.
So when Game On Dude broke a half-step slowly, from the rail, Smith knew what he had to do. He gunned Game On Dude to the lead, despite the aggressive early tactics from Nonios and his jockey, Martin Pedroza.
Game On Dude never looked back. Even though Nonios tested him anew in the stretch, Game On Dude ($2.60) continued resolutely to the wire to score by 1 1/4 lengths over Nonios, with Kettle Corn another 4 1/4 lengths back in third. Richard’s Kid and Make Music for Me rounded out the field.
“He had a little hiccup coming out of the gate,” Smith said. “He was squatting a little.”
But Smith made up for lost time.
“You have to be aggressive. Sometimes, you have to go for broke,” said winning trainer Bob Baffert. “I thought Nonios was the horse to beat, and I figured Pedroza would get aggressive with him, try to get in Dude’s psyche.”
Game On Dude is prone to occasionally breaking slowly. The key for Baffert is what happens next.
“After about 50 yards, he picks up steam,” Baffert said. “He’s like a bus without brakes.”
Smith didn’t apply the brakes. Over a deep, tiring surface playing several seconds slower than par, Game On Dude clicked off quarter-mile fractions of 24.52 seconds, 49.81, 1:14.97, and 1:39.90 en route to a final time of 1:52.27 for 1 1/8 miles, one lap around the main Cushion Track surface at Hollywood Park.
“It’s a pretty demanding track, the way it is,” Baffert said.
The win was the 10th in 22 starts for Game On Dude, and his fourth in his last six starts. He most recently had finished seventh of 12 as the 6-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
“It was a shame that after running such great races all year, he had a bad race in the Breeders’ Cup,” Baffert said.
Game On Dude is owned by a partnership that includes Bernie Schiappa, Ernie Moody, Joe Torre, and Debbie Lanni. The Native Diver purse was increased this year owing to a supplement from the Oak Tree Racing Association. Game On Dude received a first prize of $137,500 to go over the $3 million mark for career earnings.
Skillful Joy: Reneesgotzip just gets up
Earlier in the day, favored Reneesgotzip ($2.60) just got up in the final strides to catch pacesetting Nechez Dawn by a neck and win the $70,440 Skillful Joy Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters going six furlongs. Curvy Cat was third.
The race was rained off the turf. Reneesgotzip was timed in 1:13.05 over the laboring surface.
Garrett Gomez rode Reneesgotzip for Peter Miller, who trains Reneesgotzip for Lanni. She was third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in her previous start. She has now won five times in nine starts.
Great ride by Mike Smith the ultimate legend!!
I guess some don't know how to read the Racing Form, according to what I see in the Form there are alot of G1 victories next to GOD's name, perhaps it was an oversight or someone needs glasses or they just might be new to the game and don't fully understand what all those numbers mean in the form. Anyway you don't earn over 3 million in purse money just being a G2 horse at best. Lame comment.................
I just read ALL the posts below...83% of you think "who-beat-who" is a winning system. haha. GAME ON DUDE IS A GII HORSE IF QUALITY FIELDS SHOW UP. NOT A GI HORSE BY NO MEANS.
Marky Mark will appease the snooty meydan who equates profession with handicapping ability because she senses some truth to what i post. 1. Nino.Brown 2. Frank White 3. Tony Montana 4. Jimmy Conway 5. The Wizard
Marky Mark - Please tell me that you're "top 5" in your chosen profession (if you have one). Bobby baffert is you know? All your haranguing is begining to sound.... ehh
Nice 3rd 5th & 6 th place finishes in today s 6 horse stake. Lol. Way to go bobby!
fractions set it up for the 1st two
Baffert sucks! Lol
Hey everyone did you hear Mark had a winner....and he's STILL talking about it......Yaaaawn
Chantal made the same "clutch decision" in the Pacific Classic and everybody crucified her for it. She should still be riding that horse.
- 1.Posted 12/11/2013 03:00PM
- 2.Posted 12/10/2013 02:23PM
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- 5.Posted 12/10/2013 07:22PM