Game On Dude, gritty nose winner of last year’s Santa Anita
Handicap and game runner-up to Drosselmeyer in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last
Nov. 5, is scheduled to make his 2012 debut in next Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000
San Antonio Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.
The San Antonio is a major steppingstone to this year’s
Grade I, $750,000 Big ‘Cap on March 3.
Game on Dude worked six furlongs in company with stable mate
Tweebster on Friday in a bullet 1:11 flat with Martin Garcia up. “Dude’s”
was the fastest of 26 drills at the distance.
“He’s working really well,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert
said of the 5-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again. “What else is there to
Baffert generally works Game On Dude in company with another
horse. “He’s been working off the pace,” Baffert said. “His game is speed, but
he’s not speed crazy. He’s not a horse that’s going to go out there and go 21
and change the first quarter. He just has to be engaged with the leader.”
A finalist in last year’s Eclipse Award voting for
outstanding Older Male, Game On Dude has a 5-4-1 record form 14 starts. The
Kentucky-bred has earned $2,134,658.
Prayer for Relief, nominated to both the San Antonio and
Saturday’s Strub Stakes by Baffert, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main
track Sunday in a bullet 58.60, fastest of 58 drills at the distance, the
average time of which was 1:01.34.