07/03/2012 3:14PM

Hollywood Park: Thirtyfirststreet will take another shot in Hollywood Gold Cup

Shigeki Kikkawa
Thirtyfirststreet will try Grade 1 company again in Saturday's Hollywood Gold Cup at Betfair Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Four months later, the eighth-place finish by Thirtyfirststreet in the Santa Anita Handicap still stings co-owner Mark Gorman.

Turning into the stretch, Thirtyfirststreet was fourth when jockey Eswan Flores guided the 4-year-old colt to the rail, aiming for a narrow gap. There was not enough space. An 83-1 shot, Thirtyfirststreet struck the rail and faded to finish eighth.

“We thought we’d finish first or second there,” Gorman said.

Thirtyfirststreet lost his next two starts – an eighth in the New Orleans Handicap at Fair Grounds on April 1 and a fourth in the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on May 5.

Those setbacks have not deterred Gorman and partners Neil Haymes and Sterling Stable from trying for another lucrative prize – Saturday’s $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup over 1 1/4 miles.

The task is formidable: Beat Game On Dude, the leading older horse in California and, arguably, the United States.

Game On Dude is the 124-pound highweight. Thirtyfirststreet will carry 112 pounds. Gorman describes the weight break as “a big advantage,” but realizes what Thirtyfirststreet must accomplish.

“We’re taking a shot,” he said. “We’ve built him up to give him every chance to compete against this type of horse. We thought we had a shot in the Big Cap, and we got knocked against the rail. That ended that.”

Gorman said the disappointment of the Big Cap defeat on March 3 led to a quick turnaround for the New Orleans Handicap, where Thirtyfirststreet raced wide throughout.

“The mistake we made after the Big Cap was we tried to make up for that loss,” he said. “We traveled across the country to New Orleans with four weeks between races. Who knows what knocking against the rail did to him?”

In the Mervyn LeRoy, Thirtyfirststreet finished fourth of nine, 5 1/4 lengths behind Morning Line, who led throughout.

“He raced good, it’s just that Morning Line had it all his own way,” Gorman said.

After that race, the goal for the owners and trainer Doug O’Neill became the Gold Cup, with ample rest time in between.

“We’ve always thought he was really special,” Gorman said. “We kind of raced him too much. We want to give him another chance. Unfortunately, we’re racing against some good horses.”

Game On Dude will be a heavy favorite in an expected field of seven. The other probable starters, with weights, are Richard’s Kid (120), Kettle Corn and Uh Oh Bango (both at 117), Anthony’s Cross (115), and Spud Spivens (114).

Bob Baffert trains Game On Dude and Richard’s Kid. Each won a stakes in his last start. Game On Dude won the Grade 2 Californian Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths on June 2. Richard’s Kid, who raced in Dubai in 2011 and earlier this year, won the Prove It Stakes over 1 3/8 miles on June 8 in his first start in the United States since a win in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes in October 2010.

Anthony’s Cross is trained by Eoin Harty, who put the chances of the 4-year-old colt starting at “50-50.”

Anthony’s Cross, winner of the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes in 2011, finished fourth in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on May 28, but was promoted to third after a rival was disqualified for causing trouble in the stretch. Anthony’s Cross was steadied in the final sixteenth, which Harty said clearly cost a placing.

“It’s hard to say, but I think he would have been second,” he said.

Winning the Gold Cup against a rival such as Game On Dude will be difficult, Harty said.

“He has to have a bad day, and we have to have a good day,” he said. “This is a huge step up in class.”

Who Cares More than 1 year ago
why does he have to leave California BC is here no reason to deal with that crappy weather everywhere else
Michael Cavanaugh More than 1 year ago
The equalizer here is the weight assignments. Sure helps with betting, but is costly to the sport from a casual fan's perspective. Very disappointing entries, as a whole, for this race. If this is a win and your in the BC Classic, carring 112 lbs (plus whatever overweight) really does not cut it if Thirtyfirststreet wins and elects to go to Classic.
Blueyedhusky More than 1 year ago
Win and YOU'RE in!!! Poor grammar makes you sound ignorant!
Joel P More than 1 year ago
weak Weak Weak field.... This article is at best silly. Good luck to all. But look at this group of horses..Yikes..
Chris Thigpen More than 1 year ago
This is really bad for a win and your in to BC race. Maybe they could have combined the field for the Heroine and the Gold cup, even with fillies and mares at least the field would have been bigger and it may have been more interesting. I guess you could change the name of it to the "Hollywood Bronze Cup"
Blueyedhusky More than 1 year ago
Win and YOU'RE in!!! Poor grammar makes you sound ignorant!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Game On Dude, arguably the best horse in the U.S.? Did they kill every other graded-caliber horse in the country and not tell anyone? When he leaves California, then we'll talk.
Koushik More than 1 year ago
as Ash said I am dazzled that a stay at home mom able to earn $9156 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this web link http://ho.io/qc5a
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Yes, bet a $1000 exacta on Richard's Kid - Game on Dude and you might get $9156 in return.
Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
you must be kidding,,the exact will pay even money at best..
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
In a 7 horse field, there are 42 possible exacta combinations. I am the number guy, I am deadly accurate. GoD - RK exacta will pay about $5 for $1 one way, and about $8 the other way. And that's conservative on the low side. The actual payout I believe will be slightly higher. Check back at 8pm EST on Saturday. I am never wrong.
Paul_Tuon More than 1 year ago
“We thought we’d finish first or second there,” Gorman said. You got to be kidding me, this horse was 83-1 and hitting the rail or not, he was not going to be first or second. Furthermore, he didn't belong in that race in the first place, and also, he certainly doesn't belong in this race. He belongs in top level allowance races at best and putting him in any other minor stakes races would also be a stretch.
Dennis O'Neill More than 1 year ago
you haven't watched the replay. he would have been second. the kid was loaded on the rail. i heard he got a bunch of stitches after.
Scott More than 1 year ago
Dennis, you're right. The public gets it wrong sometime and Thirtyfirststreet was full of run when he was run into the rail. The thing about the horses Paul is that most of them can't read and don't understand that they don't belong. LOL!
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
The truth is Game On Dude will leave this tired group of hard knockers gasping for air. Richard's Kid is likely to run 2nd and if he fails you could see Kettle Korn or Uh Oh Bango in the exacta. But Baffert could easily be one - two. The rest will stagger in whatever random order the day provides. To me this looks like it will be a highly paid work out. At least the other jocks will get a chance to admire Chantal's sweet booty! Thirtyfirststreet might be up against it with high priced claimers - let alone graded stakes horses. And poor placement really does a dis-service to the horse.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
GoD is only 1 for 5 at 10 furlongs and 1 for 4 on synthetics. The last two times he had to give a lot of weight were in the Lone Star Park Handicap and the Charles Town Classic - he wasn't that pretty at the end. I'm making a very big bet on Richard's Kid to win only.
Scott More than 1 year ago
Grass is Greener - I'm with you on this. The stats don't lie and when you consider that Richard's Kid is training on equal terms with GoD, then you really have to go for the better price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This field is what the Californian Stakes field should be, not the Gold Cup.
Scott More than 1 year ago
I thought with the Breeder's Cup being in California a few more of the heavy hitters from the East Coast would campaign out West this year. Of course, running on the synthetics isn't appealing to many and that will keep a fair amount of the better dirt horses away. It will be interesting to see when the next big race at Santa Anita goes to see if anybody comes West.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
The $1mil Pacific Classic at Del Mar should be a good one. Previous winners Acclamation and Richard's Kid taking on Game on Dude and Jeranimo. There's a good chance we'll also see Wise Dan or Successful Dan going there to audition for the 10f BC Classic.
AZ Wildcat More than 1 year ago
This horse has no shot at this distance. Pretty delusional placement.
Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
mark gorman is in complete dreamland to think this horse has a chance,,it looks like his ego is ahead of reality but at least he gets to see his name in print, if anything else.