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Breeders' Cup 2017

Hollywood Gold Cup Next for Awesome Gem

Hollywood Park logo.
Photo: Hollywood Park

Awesome Gem, a 7-year-old veteran with nearly $2-million in earnings, will make his next start in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10, trainer Craig Dollase confirmed Thursday.


“That’s the plan,” said Dollase. “He’s been doing well since he got back from Lone Star Park.”


Awesome Gem, a chestnut gelding owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, finished second in his last start in the Grade III Lone Star Park Handicap May 31, his 13th runner-up finish in 35 starts. He has won six times and earned $1,974,682.


A Kentucky-bred by Awesome Again, Awesome Gem launched his career at Hollywood Park on July 9, 2006. He has since won a pair of Grade II stakes - the 2007 San Fernando at Santa Anita and the 2009 Hawthorne Gold Cup in Illinois - and finished second in three Grade I stakes, the 2007 Goodwood at Santa Anita as well as the 2008 Pacific Classic and 2009 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar. He was also third in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Monmouth Park.


Regular rider David Flores, who won the Gold Cup with Marquetry in 1991 and Siphon in 1996, has the call. Dollase has never won the race but came agonizingly close twice: in 2001, when Futural was disqualified from first to third for interference in the stretch; and in 2002, when Momentum finished second, a nose behind Sky Jack.


Defending champion Rail Trip is expected to head the lineup in the Grade I Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles on Cushion Track.

 

 

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