Game On Dude will seek the third Grade I victory of his career in the
$500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Scheduled for 1 ¼ miles over Cushion Track, the Gold Cup is a
“Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In’’ race. The Breeders’ Cup nominated
winner is guaranteed a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 3 at Santa
Anita. Additionally, pre-entry and entry fees will be waived and the
owner given a $10,000 travel allowance.
Post time Saturday is 1 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park
will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts. There is a fedora giveaway – one
per paid admission while supplies last.
I’ll Have Another, the recently retired winner of the Kentucky Derby
and Preakness, will be paraded after the third race, providing fans a
final opportunity to see the 3-year-old son of Flower Alley before he
begins his new career as a stallion in Japan.
Before the races begin, jockey Mario Gutierrez, who won all four
times he rode I’ll Have Another, and trainer Doug O’Neill, who
conditioned the chestnut for owner J. Paul Reddam, will have an
autograph session. The pair will be available between 12-1 p.m. near the
Paddock Tote Board.
Owned by a partnership that includes Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride LLC,
Lanni Family Trust, Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable and Bernie Schiappa
and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Game On Dude comes off an
authoritative win in the Grade II Californian June 2.
The 7 ¼ length win was the seventh in 17 starts for the 5-year-old
Awesome Again gelding out of the Devil His Due mare Worldly Pleasure and
increased his earnings to $2,344,658.
The 124-pound highweight, Game On Dude will be trying to make amends
for a nose loss – to stablemate First Dude – in the 2011 Gold Cup. The
last horse to win the Gold Cup a year after finishing second was Ancient
Title. The talented California bred won in 1975 after chasing Tree of
Knowledge in 1974.
Chantal Sutherland will take her usual place atop Game On Dude. She
became the first female jockey to ride in the Gold Cup in 2011.
Baffert, who has won the Gold Cup three times – Real Quiet (1999)
and Congaree (2003) prior to First Dude – will also be represented by
The 7-year-old Lemon Drop Kid horse out of the Broad Brush mare
Tough Broad was successful in his return to the United States in the
Prove It Stakes June 8. His 10th career win in his first start for
Baffert since October 2, 2010 came after he had lost five times in a
span of nearly 13 months in the United Arab Emirates.
Owned by Zabeel Racing International Corporation, Richard’s Kid, a
double winner of the Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar, has earned
$1,826,385 in 33 starts. The Maryland bred is making his second Gold Cup
appearance. He was third behind Awesome Gem and Rail Trip in 2010.
Runner-up in the Californian, Kettle Corn will be making his Grade I
debut for owners Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable and trainer John
Sadler, who saddled favorite and eventual third place finisher Twirling
Candy in this race a year ago.
A 5-year-old Candy Ride horse out of the Lil E. Tee mare
Somethingbeautiful, Kettle Corn has won six of 14 and earned $219,891.
The Kentucky bred’s last win came in the Grade II Native Diver Handicap
over Cushion Track last Dec. 3.
Anthony’s Cross will be seeking his first win since a nose victory
over Riveting Reason in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes Feb. 12,
Owned by A D K Racing and trained by Eoin Harty, the 4-year-old
Indian Charlie colt out of the Unbridled mare Screening has won two of
10 and banked $230,790.
Spud Spivens, a California bred who has earned all four of his wins
over Cushion Track, will, like Kettle Corn, be making his initial start
in a Grade I.
Owned by Vincent and Audrey Marchionno and trainer Henry Moreno, the
4-year-old Tizbud gelding out of the Cutlass Reality mare Ocean Reality
has earned $239,044 in 23 races.
Love Theway Youare, who upset heavily-favored Include Me Out in the
Grade I Vanity Handicap June 16, will take on males in her first attempt
at 10 furlongs.
Trained by owner Myung Kwon Cho, the 4-year-old Arch filly out of
the Tabasco Cat mare Diversa has won three of 19 and earned $362,990.
The last female to compete in the Gold Cup was Life Is Sweet, who
finished third in 2009. The last filly or mare to win the race was
Princessnesian in 1968. The other female winners were Happy Issue (1944)
and Two Lea (1952).
Trainer Doug O’Neill, who won the Gold Cup three times in a row
(2005-2007) with Lava Man, will be represented by Thirtyfirststreet.
Owned by Neil Haymes, Sterling Stable and Mark Gorman, who bred the
4-year-old colt with O’Neill in California, Thirtyfirststreet was a much
troubled eighth – he bounced off the rail early in the stretch – when
83-1 in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap March 3.
The son of Good Journey and the Sky Classic mare Avian has
subsequently finished last in the Grade II New Orleans Handicap April 1
at the Fair Grounds and fourth in the Grade II Mervyn LeRoy Handicap May
5 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
A winner of four of 17, Thirtyfirststreet has earned $364,200. The
first of his victories came in his second career start against state
bred maidens over Cushion Track Nov. 20, 2010.
From inside out, the field for the 73rd Hollywood Gold Cup: Love
Theway Youare, Alonso Quinonez rides, 112 pounds; Richard’s Kid, Rafael
Bejarano, 120; Kettle Corn, Garrett Gomez, 117; Spud Spivens, Victor
Espinoza, 114; Anthony’s Cross, Kerwin John, 115; Game On Dude, Chantal
Sutherland, 124 and Thirtyfirststreet, Eswan Flores, 112.