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Pacific Classic: Garcia knows Game On Dude well; Liaison scratch due to post position
By Jay Privman
DEL MAR, Calif. – Martin Garcia on Saturday morning was named to ride Game On Dude in the Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic on Sunday at Del Mar after his original mount, Liaison, was scratched from the race.
Joel Rosario was scheduled to ride Game On Dude, but he was forced to the sidelines for six weeks because of a broken foot suffered Friday at Saratoga.
Bob Baffert trains both Game On Dude and Liaison, but they have different ownership. According to Arnold Zetcher, who owns Liaison, he and Baffert had been thinking of scratching from the Pacific Classic since the race was drawn on Wednesday night, when Liaison landed post 2 in a field of 13 for the 1 1/4-mile race. Instead of running there, Zetcher said Liaison would instead go in the $90,000 Harry Brubaker Stakes on Aug. 31.
“Right after the draw, Bob and I started talking about whether to run. We didn’t like him drawing inside, where he could be squeezed,” Zetcher said Saturday morning. “What happened with Rosario and Garcia was almost unrelated to this. This decision really was a separate decision. We’re doing what’s best at this time for Liaison. This is the right move.”
It was a move that made it easier to find a replacement for Game On Dude, who is owned by the partnership of Bernie Schiappa, Joe Torre, Debbie Lanni, and Ernie Moody. Garcia regularly works Game On Dude, so he is very familiar with the race’s morning-line favorite.
Rosario became the rider for Game On Dude owing to a conflict regarding Mike Smith, who had ridden Game On Dude to five straight wins, but had chosen to be in Saratoga on Sunday to ride Royal Delta in the Personal Ensign.
Because Rosario was scheduled to be here Sunday, he had picked up other choice mounts on the card, including Goldencents in the Grade 2 Pat O’Brien for sprinters. He will be replaced on Goldencents by Patrick Valenzuela, according to trainer Doug O’Neill.
Rosario had mounts in 10 of the 11 races scheduled to be run at Del Mar on Sunday.
Jojo- You are the walking and mouth-breathing argument for moderated comments.
Kram!!! Did you read what you printed? Fit the jockey with a riding boot and put him back on a horse? Do you love your siblings? Your cousins? Your kids maybe? He has a long future you know? Fix the foot right... Or suffer the consequences for the rest of your life. There will be more races for you to bet buddy! Take it easy.
Dear Jim, You were going so nicely till your last sentence ....
I wonder at Doug's decision to put pval on Goldencents, I thought he had more integrity than to put a six time loser on one of his horses. Pval represents everything that is bad about horse racing and this makes me change my opinion of the O'neill bunch. Why not show some class and put the rider on Goldencents that helped Doug gain fame as a national force in the horse training business. I hope Goldencents runs poorly.
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Broken foot, so what, why couldn't he be fitted with a riding boot? He's just not dependable anymore.
If you believe that, there is swamp land in florida, near Hialeah for ya at good price ! Samantho comment is perfect reply to baffert..........P Val ? last graded win was best pal ? David Flores would of been perfect for goldscts/dude.....neither will win !
Goldencents , In am very happy Doug O Neil took the ANCHOR off your back....
I'm a straight up Game on Dude fan, but he's a horrible bet for the Pacific Classic. He's going to be facing considerably more speed that he has been dealing with recently. And while most the speed is cheaper speed, I wouldn't label Delegation a cheap horse and he can certainly apply pressure. Endorsement and Blueskies couldn't pass parked cars, so unless they collude to go 48, most likely Dude will have to take back. Baffert knows around two turns at Del Mar you have to save a good deal for the stretch. Combine the pace scenario with the negative move in surfaces for Dude, from Hollywood where he's 4 for 5 to Del Mar where he's 0 for 2, and there's no way I'm taking odds-on. There's a reason why there were 9 horses for the Big Cap, 5 for the Gold Cup, but 12 for the Pacific Classic. In addition to the fact the Pacific Classic is worth $1 million, the other owners and trainers recognize Dude's vulnerability on this surface. And if my so-far brief experience playing poly, pro-ride, and tapeta synth races has taught me something, it's not to take a 3-5 shot in a 12 horse field. Too many weird stuff can and do happen on these synth surfaces.
I Hope Garcia can Pull it Off. He is a GREAT RIDER!!!
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