Photo: Hollywood Park
Awesome Gem, a 7-year-old veteran with nearly
$2-million in earnings, will make his next start in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold
Cup on July 10, trainer Craig Dollase confirmed Thursday.
“That’s the plan,” said Dollase. “He’s been doing
well since he got back from Lone Star Park.”
Awesome Gem, a chestnut gelding owned by West Point
Thoroughbreds, finished second in his last start in the Grade III Lone Star
Park Handicap May 31, his 13th runner-up finish in 35 starts. He has
won six times and earned $1,974,682.
A Kentucky-bred by Awesome Again, Awesome Gem
launched his career at Hollywood Park on July
9, 2006. He has since won a pair of Grade II stakes - the 2007 San Fernando at Santa Anita and the 2009
Hawthorne Gold Cup in Illinois
- and finished second in three Grade I stakes, the 2007 Goodwood at Santa Anita
as well as the 2008 Pacific Classic and 2009 Eddie Read Handicap at Del
Mar. He was also third in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Monmouth Park.
Regular rider David Flores, who won the Gold Cup with
Marquetry in 1991 and Siphon in 1996, has the call. Dollase has never won the
race but came agonizingly close twice: in 2001, when Futural was disqualified
from first to third for interference in the stretch; and in 2002, when Momentum
finished second, a nose behind Sky Jack.
Defending champion Rail Trip is expected to head the
lineup in the Grade I Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles on Cushion Track.