Game On Dude
, who set a record for largest margin of victory in the
Santa Anita Handicap when he won by 7 ¾ lengths on March 2 to become
only the fourth two-time winner of the marquee race, was named Horse of
the Meet in Santa Anita’s 2012-13 Winter/Spring Media Poll.
Game On Dude joined John Henry, Milwaukee Brew and Lava Man as
the only horses to win the storied classic twice in its 76 runnings at
The Great Race Place.
“His Big Cap win was pretty breathtaking,” said Hall of Fame
trainer Bob Baffert, who conditions the 6-year-old Awesome Again gelding
owned by baseball great Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride LLC, the Lanni Family
Trust, Mercedes Stable LLC and Bernie Schiappa. “The fans will remember
that race for a long time. It was pretty amazing.”
Game On Dude also was named the meet’s outstanding Older Horse.
He rolled to a front-running score in the Grade II San Antonio Stakes on
Feb. 5. His margin of victory in the Big Cap was named the meet’s
Baffert won his record 11th Santa Anita training title and was
voted Trainer of the Meet for the third straight time. Baffert won for
the ninth time since balloting was initiated in 1972-73, adding to his
poll record. The 60-year-old Arizona native won 38 races from 179
starters. He also led in stakes wins with 11 and purse earnings with
Rafael Bejarano led from flag fall to finish in the jockeys’
race, outdistancing runner-up Edwin Maldonado, 93-62, to earn honors as
Outstanding Jockey. It was the fourth Santa Anita riding title for the
30-year-old native of Peru, who also led in stakes victories with 12 and
purse earnings with $4,575,024.
Joyful Victory, who posted a smashing four-length victory in the
Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes for owner Fox Hill Farms and trainer
Larry Jones, was named the meet’s top Older Filly or Mare.
Suggestive Boy, who gave Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally career
victory 700 at Santa Anita when he won the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile
on March 2, also won the Grade II Arcadia Stakes to be named
Outstanding Grass Horse. Suggestive Boy’s owner is Jose Cerillo of Lomas
de Chapultepec, Mexico, who races as Pozo de Luna, Inc.
Mizdirection, 2012 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner, captured
three grass stakes at the meet--the Grade II Monrovia Stakes, the Grade
II Buena Vista Stakes and the Grade III Las Cienegas Stakes--to be named
outstanding Grass Filly or Mare.
Mizdirection’s owners are famed radio and TV sports talk host Jim
Rome, who races as Jungle Racing LLC; William Strauss, Daniel Grohs,
Kevin Nish, Michael Kramek and Boris Beljak.
Goldencents, who rebounded from defeat after a controversial pace
duel in the San Felipe Stakes to win the Santa Anita Derby, was named
The chestnut son of Into Mischief is owned by Glenn Sorgenstein
and Joshua Kaplan of Santa Monica, campaigning as W.C. Racing; David
Kenney of Yorba Linda; and head basketball coach at the University of
Louisville Rick Pitino, who guided the Cardinals to the 2013 NCAA
championship. Pitino's nom de course is RAP Racing.
Breeders’ Cup champion 2-year-old filly of 2012 Beholder was a
unanimous winner as Outstanding 3-year-old filly by virtue of convincing
scores in the Grade I Las Virgenes Stakes and the Grade I Santa Anita
Oaks for Richard Mandella, who trains the daughter of Henny Hughes for
the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes.
Hughes also owns Jimmy Creed, who won the Grade I Malibu Stakes
and the Grade II Potrero Grande Stakes to earn honors as Outstanding
Sprinter. Hughes was named the meet’s Outstanding Owner thanks to his
four graded stakes wins, three of them Grade I’s.
Spit Ball, a 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding, was named Claiming
Horse of the Meet. The chestnut son of Olmodavor was trained by Ron
Ellis for owner Steve Zolotas when he won for the fourth time on April
4, in a $25,000 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles.
There were 23 claims in for Spit Ball after the race, and he went to trainer Bob Hess Jr. for owner Roddy Valente.
Prior to the April 4 win, Spit Ball broke his maiden at Santa
Anita for $20,000 going seven furlongs on Jan. 4; won a $12,500 claimer
at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 9; and jumped up to win at $20,000 going a mile
and a sixteenth on March 9.
The Santa Anita Derby, in which Goldencents repulsed a stretch bid from favored Flashback, was named Race of the Meet.
2012-13 Santa Anita Winter/Spring Media Poll
Horse of Meet: Game On Dude
Sprinter: Jimmy Creed
Older Horse: Game On Dude
Claimer: Spit Ball
Older Filly/Mare: Joyful Victory
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Grass Horse: Suggestive Boy
Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
Grass Filly/Mare: Mizdirection
Race: Santa Anita Derby
3-Year-Old Filly: Beholder
Owner: Spendthrift Farm, Hughes
Achievement: Big 'Cap Winning Margin