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Breeders' Cup 2017

2013 Breeders' Cup Classic: Game On Dude, far from Invincible

It seems that many people are simply handing Game on Dude the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic. They act like there is no way he gets beat and that he will simply dominate and go on to end his year a perfect six for six and collect Champion Older Male and Horse of the Year awards. I am not one of those people.
In this year’s Classic he will have at least three other horses that will be gunning for the lead with him. Moreno, Alpha, and Fort Larned are all very quick, and all have proven to be quite capable of setting fast fractions that run their competition off their feet. The last time Dude faced a field with this much speed he lost. It was a game second in the 2011 Breeders Cup Classic, where he fended off Uncle Mo and To Honor and Serve, early on, but could not withstand Drosselmeyer’s late kick. This time, instead of two main challengers he will have 3, one with the exact same running style. Game on Dude likes to be close to the lead early, and if he’s to win, he wants the lead before entering the stretch. If he can’t get it before then, he fades. The amount of early speed in the 2013 Classic, does not bode well for him.
Another dynamic people are forgetting is the amount of stalkers and closers. Palace Malice, Will Take Charge, Graydar, Ron the Greek, and Mucho Macho Man are the horses you can expect to challenge Game on Dude late, should he be able to withstand and repel the other speed horses. Palace Malice, Graydar, and Mucho Macho Man are three that will be the first to be on the attack. When the speed falls they will pounce around the far turn. Graydar has shown his grit, in running down the leader, when he won the New Orleans Handicap. Palace Malice showed his ability to deliver a knockout punch in the Belmont and Jim Dandy, blowing by his completion around the final turn. Mucho Macho Man did something similar in the Awesome Again, just last time out.
If those three do not find a way to get past him, the Game on Dude has Ron the Greek and Will Take Charge to fend off. Both of those horses will have the benefit of running into a furious early pace, and the opportunity of running down a leg weary, softened up leader. Last time this scenario played out, Game On Dude could not match stride with the closer.
That is seven grade one winners total, all of which have demonstrated the ability to win at distances 10 furlongs or greater, taking their shots in separate waves. At 10 furlongs, I have every reason to doubt that Game on Dude is a very beatable favorite. The best bet is to take a stalker. Yes, they too, will be close to a rapid pace, however, Santa Anita is a very speed conducive track. That gives them the advantage once they get the jump on their late closing rivals.
Of the stalkers you’ll have Mucho Macho Man, Palace Malice, and possibly Graydar. The latter is a brilliant individual with the heart of a champion. The question is, does he have enough foundation to get 10 furlongs against this group? Mucho Macho Man will have the services of Gary Stevens, who happened to be aboard for his first grade one win, which he won by a dominating four and a half lengths. He was second last year, and stands a good shot at getting up again this year. Palace Malice, your Belmont winner has the same style as the Macho Man. He may not be the luckiest horse in the field, but he has talent to spare, and gets Hall of Famer Johnny Velazquez.
The way I see it, the speed will cancel each other out, setting the stage for the stalkers. Graydar will give it his all, but won’t have the foundation to keep with Mucho Macho Man or Palace Malice as they swoop to the lead, and battle it out down the Santa Anita stretch.


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Older Comments about 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic: Game On Dude, far from Invincible...

Sully, I'm not saying he'll be overlook. I'm saying he'll probably close instead of stalking. He almost never stalks. That is a fact that can easily be seen in his PP's.
  • Sully · I know this. I, too, can read pp's...and I am saying he will be overlooked again for the exact reason you state, "he'll be too far off the pace on a speed favoring surface." I'm willing to take the gamble, especially if the price is right. · 1466 days ago
Sully, RTG typically sits at the back of the pack and closes. He can stalk and pounce, but it is a rare occasion that he does.
  • Sully · Yes, dani, as I said, can. Especially if the track is playing fast, I don't see him trying to come from the clouds like he did last year. No one believed in the JCGC when I said he was being overlooked. Give it to me again! · 1467 days ago
Dani,it is obvious that we look at racing conceptually differently.I am sure neither of us will convince the other.Good luck in who you like or bet.
Tmallios, tired? He came back a month later and won the Native Diver?
Dani,last year i hated him in the Classic.The reason as i mentioned.I use speed sheets,do not know what tools you use.In the Awesome Again stakes 4 weeks prior to the Cup.GOD ran his fastest race of the year.. He was a tired horse.Even with that,he got completely left at the gate.This year,depending on the draw,if he draws inside.Smith might just go and not look back.I think Moreno and Graydar are overrated speed horses.That is just my opinion.Fact GOD is a fresh horse is the reason for my extreme confidence.
Tom, people were saying that last year too, and he got beaten.
GOD is the one that should win. Looking at his performances this year in comparison to all the other horses, he should win. He seems to have matured this year into a horse that cannot be beat, unless the track comes up sloppy. Then all bets are off. Probably PM on the off going over RTG
No one likes Paynter? Has a shot at big price if he runs.
Game on Dude is not invincible, but he seems to be the horse with the best chance of winning. The eastern older horses are very inconsistant and in my opinion are an average group at best and the 3 year olds don't seem to be much better. I believe Game on Dude deserves to be favored and has the best chance of any horse to win, but the race really looks wide open and I think just about any horse in the field could win with a good trip and if they are in top form that day.
I'm liking the two horses I see going into the race best that can stalk and pounce. If you haven't figured it out, that's MMM and RTG. Give me some odds on RTG like last out, and I will jump all over it again!
The key to this race is to trifecta Mucho Macho Man
If your a good handicapper the race is wide open
Rafi that's why I said if he was healthy and never got hurt. To say he wouldn't have a chance but wtc and pm would is silly. And I'm sorry but no- I don't think pm or wtc are better than oxbow. Becaus we have no idea what oxbow could be doing right now because he got hurt. Could he have regressed? Sure. Could he have gotten better like wtc? Absolutely. Like mallios said- oxbow ran the most impressive Belmont even though he wasn't the winner. To run an effort like that after how he ran in the derby and Preakness and against a fresh horse like pm was amazing. Not to take away from PM's win- as he did finish first that day. But to say oxbow would have no chance if he never got hurt is just silly
Moreno is at Santa Anita working toward the Classic. If this silly DRF link will actually open, it will say that Joe Talamo has been named to ride Moreno in that race. (The link title is about Cross Traffic, but it contains other info.) http://www.drf.com/news/breeders-cup-classic-cross-traffic-sidelined-shin-injury
PM in his dreams might rival a healthy Oxbow. Even in defeat he proved to be the better horse.after going 6f in 1.10 he still only lost by 2 lengths. Palace malice ran good that day,but some of the purse money should of been given to Freedom Child.
Ruffian. Just to point out, and you can ask most on here, I gave Oxbow a lot of credit after the 2013 Belmont Stakes. I think he is a fine animal. My point was not due to lack of talent. I could not see him standing a chance off of a 4+ month layoff, against that pace and against elders. I like Oxbow, his performances in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont were fantastic, but if he were healthy right now, I don't think he'd stand a chance. Why people praise Palace Malice and Will Take Charge more than Oxbow? Because they are better colts... saying Oxbow is better than those two, would, in my opinion, be not only asinine, but asi-ten, asi-eleven, asi-tweleve...
That is the problem with everyones thinking.They talk horses like Moreno,Graydar and any other potential speed horse.First of all,do you honestly think that a Hall of Fame Trainer/Rider combo will fall into the trap of either chasing or running with these immitation speedsters who have no shot to bethere at the end. G.OD can sit,his speed is from 2 to 5 furlongs.All mikey has to do is relax him and place him within 2 to 3 lengths of the lead.When he asks for horse.That is when the fun will begin.Because when he makes his move.Do the closers move prematurely and hurt their chances in the stretch.Or do they stay back and take their chances. That is how G.O.D will run.Smith is to smart and savvy to take the bait.The key to this horse is,he is fresh.He is not the tired horse he was the last 2 years.The performance he gave in the pacific Classic,is exactly what he will give again.Now if there is a horse ,who is good enough to beat him after that.Then if you are Baffs and Smitty,you go and shake their hand. Somehow ,i do not think so.Their hands will be busy collecting the hardsware.
I haven't seen the official article yet on Graydar going so that's why I said that. And I also haven't seen any person with intelligence and knowledge say that the dude has this easily won. I'm pretty sure everyone knows it has to set up his way for him to win it
I disagree rafi. People don't give oxbow enough credit (same thing with Verrazano) yet want to praise pm and wtc for some reason. Oxbow finished best out of all horses who were close to that wicked pace in the derby. He won the Preakness and then finished a game second to a fresh palace Malace. I guarantee it would have panned out differently had pm run in the Preakness as well. Oxbow is talented and I hope he comes back healthy to race again and prove that to his doubters

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