One look at Game On Dude pulling away to a record 8 1/2-length
victory in Sunday’s $1 milllion TVG Pacific Classic was all it took to
appreciate the power, strength and beauty of the 6-year-old gelding in
Del Mar’s signature race.
Multiple looks at video tapes and stopwatches this afternoon by track
officials and representatives of the timing company Trakus could lead
to a better appreciation of the speed of Game On Dude for the American
classic 1 ¼-mile distance.
Game On Dude’s official time for the race was 2:00.69, third-fastest
of seven runnings since the switch to a Polytrack surface in 2007 and
one and 15-100ths seconds off the Polytrack record established by
Dullahan in 2012.
The disparity between the visual impressiveness of Game On Dude’s
performance and the numerical reflection moved some analysts, notably
TimeformUS head figure maker Craig Milkowski, to do frame-by-frame
comparisons of the 2012 and 2013 Classics and conclude that Game On
Dude’s time should be reconsidered.
Racing secretary Tom Robbins, track CEO Joe Harper, track
oddsmaker/timer Russ Hudak, and vice president of operations Tim Read
planned to meet Wednesday afternoon with representatives of Trackus to
consider changing the official time. Trakus, which uses wireless
technology and tags inserted in saddlecloths to track and time horses,
had Game On Dude going 1:59.26, which would be a track record. Hudak’s
hand time was 1:59.96.
A decision isn’t likely to be rendered today, Robbins said Wednesday morning. But an in-depth look into the matter will be made.
“There are any number of reasons why the timing might be a little
off,” Robbins said. “Beams can be tripped (by sources other than the
A change in time and speed figures – Game On Dude got a 109 Beyer
which was later revised upward to 113 – is not a major concern to Hall
of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. “I thought it looked like a track record
the way he did it, but it doesn’t really matter,” Baffert said. “He ran
so much better than last year, it was a great day and he came out of it
Who’s No. 1? Game On Dude
The Pacific Classic victory moved Game On Dude from second to first,
ahead of 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the National Thoroughbred
Racing Association’s weekly Top Thoroughbred Poll.
Game On Dude totaled 442 votes to 426 to Wise Dan.
Obviously also got a boost from a Del Mar stakes victory on Sunday. The Del Mar Mile winner advanced from 11th to seventh on the charts, totaling 131 points.