INGLEWOOD, Calif. (August 17, 2012)—Awesome Gem, who earned the biggest victory of his life in the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup, will try to repeat in the $200,000 Longacres Mile Sunday at Emerald Downs in Auburn, Washington.
A Grade III for older horses, the Longacres Mile is the eighth of 10 races. Scheduled post time is 5:39 p.m. PDT. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 10 a.m. for simulcasts.
Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and trained by Craig Dollase, Awesome Gem skimmed the rail to upset Rail Trip in the Gold Cup, the lone Grade I score in the gelding’s long career.
Favored against 10 opponents in the 2011 Mile, Awesome Gem responded with a 1 ½ length victory, covering the distance in 1:34.80.
The 5-2 morning line choice in the field of 11, Awesome Gem will try to become the first repeat Mile winner since Simply Majestic (1988-89).
A 9-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again and the Pentelicus mare Piano, Awesome Gem has won 11 of 51 and banked $2,851,370. David Flores, who was aboard for last year’s win and the Gold Cup victory, again has the call.
The 3-1 second choice is the John Sadler-trained Gladding. An easy winner of the Alamedan Handicap July 1 at Pleasanton after finishing sixth in the Grade II Mervyn LeRoy Handicap May 5 at Betfair Hollywood Park, Gladding will be ridden by Juan Hernandez.
Owned by Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable, Gladding, a 5-year-old Sarava gelding out of the Island Whirl mare Cannon Whirl, has won four of 17 and earned $254,160.
From inside out, the field for the Longacres Mile: Gladding, Juan Hernandez rides, 119 pounds; Gallant Son, Bill Antongeorgi III, 117; Awesome Gem, David Flores, 123; Winning Machine, Javier Matias, 119; Hudson Landing, Frank Alvarado, 122; Assessment, Jennifer Whitaker, 116; Jump Up and Kissme, Marlo Dunn, 114; Bailouttheminister, Russell Baze, 118; Jebrica, Juan Gutierrez, 118; Taylor Said, Mario Gutierrez, 122 and St Liams Halo, Leslie Mawing, 118.
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