08/24/2013 2:16PM

Pacific Classic: Garcia knows Game On Dude well; Liaison scratch due to post position


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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.

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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.

CMathieu66 More than 1 year ago
Jojo- You are the walking and mouth-breathing argument for moderated comments.
Jojo Montrealreal More than 1 year ago
what your boyfreind chico got mad?
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
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.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Dear Jim, You were going so nicely till your last sentence ....
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
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.
bonniemliub More than 1 year ago
what Dennis replied I didnt even know that a stay at home mom able to earn $8281 in four weeks on the computer. did you read this page w­ww.wℴ­rk25.ℂ­ℴm
kram hslew More than 1 year ago
Broken foot, so what, why couldn't he be fitted with a riding boot? He's just not dependable anymore.
Vince More than 1 year ago
what an absurd statement...
CMathieu66 More than 1 year ago
This is horse racing in 2013, not Valley Forge in 1778.
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
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 !
Vince More than 1 year ago
actually P Val won multiple Grade 1's on Acclimation
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On a stakes-filled weekend, you get the "post of the year" prize; well done!!
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Goldencents , In am very happy Doug O Neil took the ANCHOR off your back....
CMathieu66 More than 1 year ago
With ya on that one brotha
Jordan More than 1 year ago
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.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Oh, and no Mike Smith.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Do you really think that Baffert would go along with or advise that Garcia take Dude back? If Garcia does anything but put Dude on the lead he will never ride another horse for him. That said, look for some race riding from the horse just inside him to run Dude to the outside on the first turn.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
They took back to 3rd in last year's race. Unless they go real slow, Dude's not winning if he's head and head for the lead. Not on this surface. On dirt or even Cushion he just runs the other speed into the ground, opens up, and holds on. That's doesn't work on poly. Game on Dude is an attrition runner, putting internal quarters in 23 and change. You can't do that at Del Mar. If a horse is going wire to wire, like Acclamation in 2011, it needs 24, 48, 1:12. By take back, I mean sit 3rd or 4th no more than a couple off the lead. As we saw in the BC Classic, Dude can't come from 5th, 5 back. He's going to be forwardly placed, but Baffert will give Garcia instructions to be aggressive(that's why he went with Garcia and not a passive rider like Bejarano) but not stupid. If Blueskies and Endorsement want to go 46, let them because a horse isn't winning at 10 furlongs on poly going close to that fast.
CMathieu66 More than 1 year ago
Jordan, great breakdown of GoD's vulnerabilities but you missed another crucial one that will exacerbate his troubles Sunday. He is an oaf of a gate horse. The main reason he got blown out in the BC was his break from the #2 post and getting stuck behind a wall of horses going into the first turn, causing him to become ranker than Nick Hines after polishing a bean and broccoli buffet. Kettle Corn is the now horse, Dullahan is the surface specialist, and Holding Glory is the bomber. One of these will hike the payout on $1.3M P4 quite nicely.
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Nick comment LMAO!