Awesome Gem

Awesome Gem arrives at Old Friends Equine Retirement

Benoit & Associates
Awesome Gem won the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup as a 7-year-old.

Grade 1 winner Awesome Gem arrived at Old Friends Equine Retirement in Georgetown, Ky. on Friday.

The 14-year-old Awesome Again gelding has been living as a pensioner on the farm of Leigh Gray in Bradbury, Calif. following a short stint as a stable pony for trainer Craig Dollase, who conditioned the horse throughout his seven-year racing career. He raced for West Point Thoroughbreds and retired in September 2012.

Hollywood Park notes: Awesome Gem to be paraded

Shigeki Kikkawa
Awesome Gem will remain with his stable as a pony in the mornings.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Awesome Gem, who won the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup in a career that stretched from 2006 until his retirement earlier this year, will be paraded between races on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

A winner of 11 of 52 starts and $2,881,370, Awesome Gem was based at Hollywood Park for much of his career. Trained by Craig Dollase for West Point Thoroughbreds partnership, Awesome Gem is scheduled to appear on the track between the fourth and fifth races.

Hovdey: Roll of Breeders' Cup absentees filled with the good and great

Shigeki Kikkawa
Awesome Gem ran four times in the Breeders' Cup but couldn't make it for No. 5 last year.

It is probably best to get this out of the way early, before the real fun starts. Each year, the Breeders’ Cup is defined by the horses who don’t run as much as by those who do. Then comes the end of the big day, and the names of the absent are all but forgotten, relegated to the mists of time recalled only in terms of, “What if?”

Awesome Gem retired from racing at age 9

Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs
Awesome Gem was retired from racing Friday after inflammation was detected in one leg.

Awesome Gem, the multi-millionaire and multiple stakes winner whose seven-year racing career made him a throwback to a bygone era, has been retired, trainer Craig Dollase said Friday.

A 9-year-old gelding, Awesome Gem was found with inflammation in a leg Friday morning, two days before a scheduled start in the $100,000 Ralph Hinds Pomona Invitational at Fairplex Park.

Owned by the West Point Thoroughbreds partnership, Awesome Gem won 11 of 52 starts and earned $2,881,370.

Emerald Downs: Longacres Mile also-rans move on to next challenge

Victor Fierros/Vassar Photography
After a ninth-place finish in the Longacres Mile, Hudson Landing will get a rest before being pointed toward the All-American Handicap in November.

AUBURN, Wash. – While a start in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile remains a possibility for Longacres Mile hero Taylor Said, the other nine participants in the Grade 3 race last Sunday at Emerald Downs will tackle less-ambitious projects when they return to competition this year or next.

Emerald Downs: Awesome Gem defends title in Longacres Mile

Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs
Awesome Gem comes into the Longacres Mile closing in on $3 million in earnings.

AUBURN, Wash. – Awesome Gem, in the final stages of a remarkable career, can move ever so close to the $3 million mark in career earnings when he starts Sunday as the likely betting favorite in the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs.

Emerald Downs: Longacres Mile lures 11, led by Awesome Gem

Erin Palmer/Emerald Downs
Awesome Gem will try to defend his 2011 Longacres Mile victory.

AUBURN, Wash. – Awesome Gem drew post 3 and was installed as the 5-2 morning-line favorite when entries were taken Wednesday for Sunday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs.

Emerald Downs: Field for Longacres Mile still taking shape

Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Gladding is expected to ship to Emerald Downs for Sunday's Grade 3 Longacres Mile.

AUBURN, Wash. – The biggest week on Emerald Downs’s calendar is set to begin on a quiet note both Thursday and Friday, with compact fields – an average of 5.9 horses per race – lined up for seven-race cards each night. The momentum will build dramatically Saturday with the running of the WTBOA Lads Stakes for 2-year-olds, before hitting the meeting’s high notes Sunday, when the $65,000 Emerald Distaff serves as a warmup act for the Grade  3, $200,000 Longacres Mile.

Emerald: Longacres Mile field looks loaded

Shigeki Kikkawa
Awesome Gem returns to defend his title in the Longacres Mile on Aug. 19.

AUBURN, Wash. – The 77th running of the Longacres Mile, the Northwest’s richest race, is shaping up to be a barnburner. A full field of 12 is expected to compete for a $200,000 purse in the Grade 3 event next Sunday, and top to bottom, it might be the best field ever assembled at Emerald Downs.

Emerald Downs: Deep cast nominated to Longacres Mile

Shigeki Kikkawa
Awesome Gem is expected to return to Emerald Downs to defend his title in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile.

AUBURN, Wash. – A total of 26 horses were named as possible starters in the Grade 3, $200,000 Longacres Mile when nominations closed Sunday, and while there are several pretenders on the list, the final field on Aug. 19 could be the deepest and most competitive in the 77-year history of the Northwest’s richest race.

Awesome Gem, who captured the Longacres Mile in 2011 and with nearly $2.9 million in career earnings is the richest horse in training in North America, will return to Emerald Downs to defend his title, trainer Craig Dollase said.

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