Clues 2 and 10 helped me narrow it to Gio Ponti, from there clue 8 helped me figure the race.
2009 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap
2009 Woodford Reserve
Pioneerof the Nile
I don't remember Game On Dude beating Paynter and the former claimer Soi Phet in the Awesome Again. Game On Dude appears, to me at least, better this year than he was last year. I attribute that both to his maturity and the addition of Mike Smith, who understands that getting to the lead at all costs is the key to victory with Game On Dude.
Dani, Dude isn't Invasor and doesn't need to be to win this race. Two completely different horses and racetracks. Basing one's handicapping on the Classics of the past makes zero sense. Game On Dude is the best horse in the race, he is on top of his game and can romp even on surfaces that he's been proven to hate (polytrack). There's no guarantee he'll be facing the most pace pressure of his career, but even if he does, he's got a high cruising speed anyway, of all the horses on the pace a little speed should bother him the least.
The only thing that'll get Dude beat this year is a slow break and a passive ride by Mike Smith. If he breaks sharp, unlike last year, it's easily his race to lose. The 2 month freshening was a smart move on Baffert's part, for he'll have Dude razor sharp for the likely hot pace of this year's Classic.
Racing fans like drayton can be so impressionable at times.
I still over many doubts about this overhyped horse.
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