Game On Dude
, who rebounded from a
subpar performance in the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a win in the $250,000
Native Diver Stakes, was chosen Horse of the Meet in the annual media poll as the
Autumn meet concluded Sunday.
Owned by Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride LLC, Lanni Family Trust,
Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable LLC and Bernie Schiappa and trained by Hall of
Famer Bob Baffert, Game On Dude won the Grade III Native Diver, which was
presented by the Oak Tree Racing Association, by 1/14 lengths over a stubborn
Nonios Dec. 1.
The victory for the 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding was his
third in four tries over Cushion Track, including the Grade I Hollywood Gold
Cup during the 2012 Spring/Summer meet.
In addition, Game On Dude, who has won 10 of 22 and earned
over $3.1 million, was voted top older male.
Making his first start outside New York, Violence remained
undefeated in three starts with a victory in the Grade I, $750,000 CashCall
Futurity Dec. 15 and was a unanimous choice as 2-year-old and 2-year-old male.
Supplemented by trainer Ken McPeek after a decisive win at
Churchill Downs, Pure Fun
was a last-to-first winner of the Grade I, $500,000 Hollywood
Starlet Dec. 8 and a unanimous selection as 2-year-old filly.
Other thoroughbreds honored were Grade I, $250,000 Hollywood
Derby upsetter Unbridled Command (3-year-old and 3-year-old male), Grade II,
$200,000 Bayakoa Stakes winner Lady of Fifty (3-year-old filly), Grade I,
$250,000 Matriarch winner Better Lucky (female turf horse), Matriarch runner-up
Tiz Flirtatious (older female) and Grade III, $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood
winner Smiling Tiger (sprinter).
, who won the Grade II, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup
after finishing a troubled second in the Hollywood Derby, was chosen turf
horse. A Toe by Three
, a 3-year-old Stormello gelding who won twice – over
Cushion Track Nov. 23 and turf Dec. 6 – for Doubledown Stables, Inc. and
trainer Peter Miller, was selected as claiming horse.
On the human side, Edwin Maldonado won top jockey, defeating
Garrett Gomez, who had a meet high five stakes wins, in a close vote.
A native of Puerto Rico, Maldonado, 30, won his first major riding
title in Southern California, finishing with 25 winners, one more than Rafael
Baffert was chosen top trainer as he won his third Autumn
meet title. He wound up with 17 wins, three more than runner-up John Sadler. Baffert
also led with four stakes victories.