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Retired Awesome Gem to Be Honored at BHP

Awesome Gem, who earned the biggest win of his illustrious career in the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup, will be paraded between races Saturday, November 24 at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Retired September 21 at age 9, Awesome Gem, who called Betfair Hollywood Park home for more than six years, will appear between the fourth and fifth races on the second day of the Turf  Festival.

In celebration of a career that saw the son of Awesome Again and the Pentelicus mare Piano win 11 of 52 races and earn $2,881,370, there will be drawings for Awesome Gem memorabilia, including a halter, saddle cloth and West Point silks autographed by jockey David Flores, who rode the Kentucky bred in half of his starts, including the 8-1 upset of Rail Trip in the Grade I Gold Cup.

Additionally, Flores and trainer Craig Dollase will autograph Awesome Gem posters between 11 a.m.-12 Noon near the paddock.

Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Awesome Gem, who competed at 13 different tracks during a career that began in the summer of 2006, retired as the leading money earner among active horses in North America.

One of four 7-year-olds to win the Gold Cup, Awesome Gem was also a graded stakes winner during his final two years of competition. He captured the Lone Star Park Handicap and Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs – both Grade III events – in 2011. Earlier this year, the chestnut won – via disqualification - the Grade III Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate Fields.

A four time Breeders’ Cup participant, Awesome Gem earned his best finish in the 2007 Classic, finishing third behind Curlin and Hard Spun over a sloppy surface at Monmouth Park.

“Awesome Gem was as honest and hard working as they come,’’ said West Point Thoroughbreds president and founder Terry Finley. “He took his partners on a magical ride to the top, winning a Grade I stakes and competing in four consecutive Breeders’ Cup events from coast to coast and even an international trip to Hong Kong.

“We were truly blessed to have him run for so long in our black and gold silks. Craig Dollase and his team did a phenomenal job conditioning this horse, knowing exactly when to run and when to give him a break, which enabled him to stay sound and compete for so many years.

“I am grateful to everyone at Betfair Hollywood Park for providing this regal tribute to our warrior who has touched so many hearts and earned a reputation as a working man’s horse. I hope all of his fans and owners come out to see his last parade on Awesome Gem Day.’’

The two Turf Festival races Nov. 24 are the $100,000 Miesque and $100,000 Generous. Both are Grade III’s at one mile. The former is for 2-year-old fillies and the latter for 2-year-olds.

Post time is 12:30 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 10 a.m.  

 

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