INGLEWOOD, Calif. (November 23, 2012)—Game On Dude, who won the Grade I Hollywood Gold Cup July 7 in his last appearance at Betfair Hollywood Park, heads the list of nominees to the $250,000 Native Diver Stakes.
A Grade III sponsored by the Oak Tree Racing Association, the Native Diver, which is run at 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track, is the main attraction Saturday, Dec. 1.
Owned by a partnership that includes Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride LLC, the Lanni Family Trust, Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable LLC and Bernie Schiappa and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Game On Dude is among 13 nominated to the Native Diver.
A 5-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again and the Devil His Due mare Worldly Pleasure, Game On Dude has won nine of nine and earned $2,994,658. He’s won twice in three starts over Cushion Track.
Seventh as the 13-10 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 3 at Santa Anita, Game On Dude could become the sixth horse to win both the Gold Cup and Native Diver. The last to complete the double was Mast Track, who won the 2008 Gold Cup and the Native Diver the following year.
Other nominees include defending champion Kettle Corn, Morning Line, who won the Grade II Mervyn LeRoy Handicap in his Betfair Hollywood Park debut in May, Comma to the Top, winner of the Grade I CashCall Futurity in 2010, and 2012 Gold Cup runner-up Richard’s Kid.
Comma to the Top, who was Horse of the Meet during the 2010 Autumn season at Betfair Hollywood Park, was also nominated to the $100,000 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes.
A Grade III at six furlongs over Cushion Track, the Underwood will be run Sunday, Dec. 2.
Smiling Tiger, who has won three of four over the BHP main track, including the Grade III Lazaro Barrera Memorial in 2010 and Grade I Triple Bend last year, and the Baffert-trained quartet of Bank the Eight, Capital Account, Fast Bullet and Smash were also nominated.
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