Joel Rosario, who guided Dullahan to victory in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic in 2012, will ride Game On Dude in the 23rd edition of Del Mar’s signature event on Sunday, August 25.
Trainer Bob Baffert broke the news late Sunday morning via Twitter
and Ron Anderson, agent for Rosario, provided confirmation Sunday
afternoon. The opening aboard Game On Dude, the No. 1 handicap horse in
the country, was created when Mike Smith committed to ride Royal Delta
in the Grade I $600,000 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga on the same
day as the Pacific Classic.
“I had an opportunity to ride Dullahan or a real good Mark Casse
horse (Delegation) coming in from Canada,” Anderson said. “But Game On
Dude may be the best horse in the country and I would think he’d be a
huge favorite (for the Classic).”
The departure of Rosario creates an opening for Dullahan but, trainer
Dale Romans said, will not affect previously announced plans for a
“No one monkey stops my show,” Romans said. He indicated a new rider for Dullahan will be named soon.
Game On Dude, who is the early favorite for this year's TVG Pacific
Classic, has run in the last two editions of the race. He was fourth in
the 2011 running to Acclamation and second to Dullahan in last year's