02/29/2012 1:03PM

Santa Anita: Game On Dude passing Big Cap for Dubai World Cup

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Game On Dude won't defend his Big Cap title and will instead run in Dubai on March 31.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Game On Dude will not defend his title in Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap and will make his next start in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 31, trainer Bob Baffert said on Wednesday.

“He’s not running,” Baffert said. “He’s going to Dubai.”

Baffert said he may not have a runner in the Big Cap, a race he has won the last two years. Prayer for Relief, a three-time graded stakes winner last year, may also pass the race, he said. Baffert had until later on Wednesday morning to decide whether Prayer for Relief will start.

The post position draw for the Big Cap is being held on Wednesday morning.

Without the Baffert duo, the Big Cap field is expected to include 11 starters. Ultimate Eagle, the winner of the Grade 2 Strub Stakes on Feb. 4, inherits the role of favorite from Game On Dude in the race over 1 1/4 miles. He will probably be opposed by Boxeur des Rues, Fiddlers Afleet, Gladding, Holladay Road, Ron the Greek, Setsuko, Thirtyfirststreet, Twice the Appeal, Uh Oh Bango, and Victory Pete.

William Pietschman More than 1 year ago
thirtyfirststreet and uh oh bango should run really well....twice the appeal might just run on and AWAY as well...
David Delgado More than 1 year ago
Not only is Baffert killing it for Santa Anita Park and the fans, but he's also a coward. He knows he'd lose to either Ultimate Eagle or Setsuko which would dredge up the circumstances of his far-from-authoritative win last year. And when he loses in Dubai, get ready to hear the synthetic surface excuses.
Jim Redhead More than 1 year ago
Thanks, Bob. Appreciate your regard for horse racing fans in America.
Rinaldo Del Gallo More than 1 year ago
I can’t believe the perceived lack of durability in today’s race horse. Do you really mean to tell me that horse cannot run in this Saturday March 3rd Santa Anita Derby and then run 4 full weeks later in the Dubai World Cup?! A one month rest is not enough? Are you kidding me? A race of a mile and one quarter is 2 minutes of exertion.
Rinaldo Del Gallo More than 1 year ago
I can’t believe the perceived lack of durability in today’s race horse. Do you really mean to tell me that horse cannot run in this Saturday March 3rd Santa Anita Derby and then run 4 full weeks later in the Dubai World Cup?! A one month rest is not enough? Are you kidding me? A race of a mile and one quarter is 2 minutes of exertion.
Junior Jimenez More than 1 year ago
Since he joined Baffert he has only won at Santa Anita and nowhere else. Now he will take him across the world in search of the money. When a trainer is not sure what to do it never works out. Game On Dude has no shot in Dubai.
Jordan Miller More than 1 year ago
Really disappointing for fans out here in California. But no surprise given Baffert had not fully committed earlier. Funny how Baffert has criticized synthetics but now he's shipping a "dirt horse" around the world to run on synth. It's not about surface, it's all about money. It's always about the money.
Bwell More than 1 year ago
The Dubai W.C. is arguably the most prestiguous reace in the world. It would be huge for Game on Dude's future.
Peggs Wathen More than 1 year ago
not if he 'tanks'......plus, the rest of his 2012 season will suffer (trip-n-back). I'm big on horse-for-the-course.......which is why Blame should've stayed in training for one more Season. He was dominant at Churchill, and would've cake-walked in the BC Classic last yr.......Game On dude is proven at SA !!!
Kristopher Marshall More than 1 year ago
He's a gelding - no future to worry about.