Photo: Benoit Photo
Clubhouse Ride is the gift that keeps on giving, although in the mind and heart of Craig Lewis, the horse doesn’t owe him a thing.
Purchased for $22,000, the 6-year-old Candy Ride horse already has won himself out 50 times over, with earnings of $1,220,132. While money isn’t everything, Lewis wouldn’t mind a bit if Clubhouse Ride wins Saturday’s Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita and adds another $300,000 to his coffers.
Clubhouse Ride will have to defeat arch-rival Game On Dude and speedy Fury Kapcori, among others, in the mile and a quarter Gold Cup. He defeated the latter in the Grade II Californian at a mile and an eighth on May 31.
“It doesn’t matter,” Lewis said when asked if Clubhouse Ride would benefit from a pace duel between Fury Kapcori and Game On Dude. “Those two have to hook up and go fast,” the trainer said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen.
“Two pretty crafty riders are on those horses (referring to Hall of Fame veterans Gary Stevens on Fury Kapcori and Mike Smith on Game On Dude), so we’ll see. Sometimes it doesn’t unfold as it appears in paper.
“I hope there’s enough pace for Clubhouse Ride, but that said, I know this: If we had another chance to buy him for $22,000, we would do it.”
The field for the Gold Cup, race eight of 10: Game On Dude, Mike Smith, 4-5; Fury Kapcori, Gary Stevens, 9-2; Clubhouse Ride, Joe Talamo, 9-2; Imperative, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Salto Del Indio, Brice Blanc, 8-1; Majestic Harbor, Tyler Baze, 12-1; and Lideris, Juan Enriquez, 20-1.
In other Gold Cup news:
Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Torre, part owner of Game On Dude, will be at Santa Anita tomorrow to see his horse run. Torre’s stable name is Diamond Pride, LLC.
Gary Stevens rides Fury Kapcori for the first time, but will do his homework before the gates open.
“I’ll talk to Jerry (trainer Jerry Hollendorfer),” the Hall of Fame rider said. “I’m looking forward to riding the horse. On paper, it is what is, two speed horses drawing next to each other, so we’ll see what happens.”