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Gold Cup Rematch in Pacific Classic?

Trainer Craig Dollase was all smiles in his stable office in Barn 54 North Sunday, basking in the afterglow of Awesome Gem’s upset victory in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Saturday.

 

“I’ll just have to decide which Gold Cup to run him in next,” said Dollase in jest, noting that Awesome Gem had recorded his previous victory in the Hawthorne Gold Cup in Chicago last year.

 

The 7-year-old gelding, a golden oldie, ran in the gold and black silks of West Point Thoroughbreds in securing his first Grade I win in 36 starts.

 

“He came back well, but he was tired,” said Dollase. “He laid his body down.”

 

Dollase was happy and relieved with his first Gold Cup victory after being frustrated by two earlier near-misses. The 39-year-old trainer said he celebrated with a steak dinner at Fleming’s in El Segundo Saturday night.

 

“Everything came together,” said Dollase, praising jockey David Flores. “David gave him a great ride. He didn’t panic. That was the winning move.”

 

Jeff Bloom, vice president of West Coast operations for West Point, said president Terry Finley watched the race on television from his New Jersey home. “I’m so proud of this horse to add that elusive Grade I to his record,” said Bloom.

 

Awesome Gem and runners-up Rail Trip and Richard’s Kid could meet again in the $1-million Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 28.

 

Trainer Ron Ellis said that defending champion Rail Trip, the 2-to-5 favorite who finished second after a wide trip, also came back in good shape.


“I’m a little disappointed,” said Ellis. “He will stay here and going to the Pacific Classic makes some sense.”


 

 

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