INGLEWOOD, Calif. (September 21, 2012)—Awesome Gem, who earned the biggest win of his career in the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup, has been retired.
The Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen reported the 9-year-old gelding, who was supposed to run in the $100,000 Ralph Hinds Pomona Invitational Sunday at Fairplex Park, was discovered to have a leg issue Friday morning, so the decision was made to end his career.
Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and trained by Craig Dollase, the son of Awesome Again and the Pentelicus mare Piano won 11 of 52, who was stabled at Betfair Hollywood Park, earned $2,881,370.
A stakes winner at six different tracks during a career that saw him compete in four Breeders’ Cup races – including a third place finish behind Curlin and Hard Spun in a sloppy Classic in 2007 at Monmouth Park – Awesome Gem used a rail-skimming ride to upset Rail Trip in the Gold Cup.
“(The Breeders’ Cup) and winning the Grade I (Gold Cup) were big highlights,’’ Dollase told Andersen. “That will be a hard stall to fill. He gave us some wonderful thrills. It’s a credit to the horse. He was just amazing.
“I’m proud I was part of this horse’s career. He was a gem. He was named appropriately. Those are hard to find.’’
In what proved to be his final start, Awesome Gem finished third as the 2-1 favorite in the Longacres Mile Aug. 19 at Emerald Downs. He won that Grade III in 2011.
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