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Awesome Gem Attempts Gold Cup Repeat

Awesome Gem top story

Trainer Craig Dollase made an 11th-hour decision Wednesday morning to enter defending champion Awesome Gem in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park Saturday.


“We’re running, and I like the weight too,” said Dollase in reference to a 116-pound assignment in the Grade I test at 1 ¼ miles on Cushion Track.


Awesome Gem finished second in the Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows in Iowa June 25 and Dollase wanted to give the horse every possible moment possible to make sure he was ready.


“The horse is in good form and likes the track,” added Dollase. “He has a good shot to defend his title.


“He bounced back from his trip to Iowa real well,” continued Dollase. “I’ve been real happy with him the last week.”


Dollase said that Awesome Gem will gallop up to the race and be reunited with jockey David Flores, a three-time Gold Cup winner. Awesome Gem drew post five in a field of eight.


Awesome Gem, a chestnut gelding, will have less time between races leading up to the Gold Cup than last year, when he upset heavily favored Rail Trip.


Last year Awesome Gem prepped in the Lone Star Handicap in Texas Memorial Day and trained up to the Gold Cup. This year he again ran in the Lone Star Handicap on Memorial Day but added the trip to Iowa.


Awesome Gem, an 8-year-old with earnings of $2,568,270, seeks to join Native Diver as the oldest horse to win the Gold Cup. He also hopes to join Native Diver and Lava Man as the only horse to win the race more than once in its 72-year history. Native Diver and Lava Man each won it three times.


A Kentucky-bred by Awesome Again, Awesome Gem is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds. Syndicate president Terry Finley is expected to travel here from New Jersey to see Awesome Gem as well as Runflatout in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds.


The Gold Cup will be televised on ESPN as the highlight of a show from 4-5 p.m. PDT with a 4:40 post as the eighth of 10 races. It is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs November 5.


Miss Match, a 6-year-old mare seeking to become the first female winner of the race in 43 years, worked four furlongs in 49.80 breezing for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale.




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Older Comments about Awesome Gem Attempts Gold Cup Repeat...

I adore AG, too. Have had the pleasure of watching him run in person 3 times. He tries so hard and always shows up. I'm a bit concerned about the two week turnaround, too.
I'm a AG fan...worried about his two week turn around though.

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