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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

It’s all Game On Dude in the Big Cap Showdown

Game On Dude Big Cap14 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Alex Evers


Game On Dude’s best days are behind him, huh? Not so fast my friends. Showing all the speed and staying power that he did when at his very best, the seven-year-old gelding threw it back in the face to all those who said he was done, with a dominating, front running score in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. In so doing, the Bob Baffert trained star became the first horse in the history of the storied race to win it three times.

Going in, today’s $750,000 Big Cap was heralded as the most highly anticipated edition of the race since Alysheba and Ferdinand thrilled the fans 26 years ago. It was billed as a rematch of a classic race that happened four months ago at Santa Anita. That evening in early November, Game On Dude could only watch as he fell farther and farther behind Mucho Macho Man, who held on in the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic by a dwindling nose over Will Take Charge. The three came back again for a rematch on Saturday, and this time the results were decidedly different.

Breaking from the seven-hole under regular rider, Mike Smith, Game On Dude went right to the lead as he eased on over to the rail before hitting the first turn. Meanwhile, the two favorites, Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge settled into comfortable stalking positions in third and fourth, as Hear the Ghost chased the leader from the outside. Game On Dude was where he wanted to be, especially after Hear the Ghost went a bit wide, leaving the 7-2 third choice with a one-length lead on the turn. The early fractions were anything but slow, though.

Zipping through the first half mile in :45.39 , Game On Dude inched clear as Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge kept each other company, approximately three lengths behind midway through the backstretch. Nearing the far turn, the pair made their move to test the leader, but Mike Smith let out a notch on the turn, and it quickly became clear that Mucho Macho Man did not have the horse today to challenge Game On Dude. That left only Will Take Charge to try to run down the talented gelding.

Straightening for home, Game On Dude spurted clear as his closest competitor went a bit wide. Will Take Charge kept trying throughout the stretch, but no one was going to beat Game On Dude on this big day.

In defeat, Will Take Charge ran a game race to be 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner at the finish. Blingo rallied late to grab a non-threatening third over Mucho Macho Man, who did not have his best today, and finished more than ten lengths behind. Closer to the early pace than he has been in the past, Will Take Charge simply did not have enough down the lane, as Game On Dude skipped over the fast track in record time. The clock was stopped after the ten furlongs in an outstanding 1:58.17, making it the fastest Big Cap in history. 

The victory in the historic grade 1 race, gives Game On Dude, owned by a partnership which includes Joe Torre, his 16th win in a marvelous career that has now spanned 31 races. It also re-announces him as one of the finest horses in American racing, just in case anyone had forgotten.



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Older Comments about It’s all Game On Dude in the Big Cap Showdown...

Laz, Thanks! Will be in contact.
Sword was that your three year old nephew or the four year old one?
Hey Mike, I'm fine. I left you a message on here about a month ago tht I don't have the same email, but I haven't seen you on here since. My new email is wlazary@hotmail.com.
Thanks for the laugh.
Please read The Drunkard's Walk to understand the concept of randomness
Please read The Drunkard's Walk to understand the concept of randomness
Travel_Vic That means nothing!
randomness will crop up now and then. WHen Hastings had the Sweep Six (their version of Pick 6) a real estate mogul pumped 50,000 in combinations two days in a row to capture the 2 million jackpot, BUT he had to share it with a couple from Surrey, British Columbia who played a single ticket. It happens but it is exceedingly rare. Want to go head to head to find which one of us hits them more often??
Laz- How are you?
Laz..My nephew recently migrate to the US and pick the superfecta without knowing too much about US racing. That is how difficult it was to hit they super...LOL.
Travel-Vic- Guess you wrote the book on every topic regarding racing. Really impressed. lol
Travel Vic- How can you be so sure they would eat him for lunch? No way to determine that. Give him his due. You're probably one of many that thought Will Take Charge and MMM would dust him. How did that work out? lol
it was difficult to find wasn't it?
directly off the play of the day. quote: cream usually rises to the top at this level:2 Mucho Macho Man 1 Will Take Charge 7 Game On Dude 3 Blingo travel_vic | 3/8/2014 12:07 PM | - Re: Will Take Charge in the ...
TV you don’t have to prove anything you say is true. Of course, we always take your word for it. And besides, with everything you say and everyone you know and everything you’ve done if you started proving it now you might get through the list by mid-April or so. As for the four in the SAH, what was so difficult about putting those four together? The only one you might have to question, and just barely, would be Blingo and he defeated GOD in his last if I’m not mistaken.
cream usually rises to the top at this level:2 Mucho Macho Man 1 Will Take Charge 7 Game On Dude 3 Blingo travel_vic | 3/8/2014 12:07 PM | - Re: Will Take Charge in the ...
let me see, those four ran 1 2 3 4 did they not?
right off the computer read out. 2 MUCHO MACHO MAN C 1.20 49.9 $2.19 7.92% A | 1 WILL TAKE CHARGE C 1.50 33.8 $1.69 -10.33% B- | 7 GAME ON DUDE C 3.80 13.1 $1.25 -9.87% D | 3 BLINGO C 22.80 1.9 $0.88 -2.46% F |
why should I have to prove what is true. It is there and I will TRY to do what your obviously cannot.
I searched and couldn't find it. Why don't you find it, copy and repost it?

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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