“He keeps on firing,” said trainer Craig Dollase in
reference to venerable 8-year-old gelding Awesome Gem, who returned to Barn 54
North Tuesday after winning the Lone Star Park Handicap in Texas Monday.
“He looks great; I’m looking forward to the Gold Cup,” said
Dollase, preparing the West Point Thoroughbreds standard-bearer for his defense
in the $500,000 Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles July 9.
“We used the Lone Star Handicap as a prep last year when he
finished second,” said Dollase. “He’s a fresher horse this year. We didn’t ship
him around as much.”
Dollase thinks the hard-trying veteran will earn more
respect this year than last, when he surprised at 8-1 odds under David Flores.
“He should be one of the choices,” said Dollase. “He got a
good Beyer figure at Lone Star, I think 101. That puts us right in the hunt.”
Dollase said he will be a keen-eyed scout viewing the
Californian Stakes here Saturday. “I’m looking forward to seeing the
Californian for rivals,” said Dollase.