INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 3, 2013)—Game On Dude will try to become the third horse to win the Hollywood Gold Cup more than once when he faces four opponents Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Scheduled for 1 ¼ miles over Cushion Track, the Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup is the richer of two graded stakes being offered on the next-to-last Saturday of the Spring/Summer meet. The 10-race card also includes the Grade II, $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile for fillies and mares on turf.
The Gold Cup goes as the ninth race while the Royal Heroine is the fifth.
Post time Saturday is 1 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.
There is also a giveaway of a DVD commemorating Hollywood Park’s 75th anniversary. Filled with historic clips and interviews, the DVD will be offered one per paid admission while supplies last.
Additionally, there’s a $500 hat contest and Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg will be signing his book “Jack From Grit to Glory’’ near the Paddock Tote Board between 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Laffit Pincay, Jr. will present the 10th annual award named in his honor to fellow Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye during the afternoon.
This will also be the eighth of nine Saturdays during the Spring/Summer meet offering a guaranteed Pick Six pool of $150,000.
If the Pick Six pool exceeds $200,000 this Saturday or July 13, there will be $1 Happy Hour food and drink specials offered at Whittingham’s Pub and the Betfair Players’ Lounge.
A single winning ticket – purchased either at Betfair Hollywood Park or through Television Games Network (TVG)- earns a bonus – a 2013 Toyota Prius courtesy of Toyota of Orange.
Owned by a partnership that includes Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride LLC, Lanni Family Trust, Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable LLC and Bernie Schiappa and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Game On Dude could join Native Diver and Lava Man as a multiple Gold Cup winner.
Native Diver (1965-1967) and Lava Man (2005-2007) were three-time winners of the track’s signature race.
Successful by 1 ½ lengths over stablemate Richard’s Kid in 2012 – the second consecutive year Baffert finished 1-2 in the Gold Cup – Game On Dude enters having won four in a row. All of those victories have come in tandem with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who won the 2004 Gold Cup with Total Impact.
The most recent score for the 6-year-old Awesome Again gelding out of the Devil His Due mare Worldly Pleasure came as the 3-10 favorite in the Grade II, $1.5 million Charles Town Classic April 20 at Charles Town.
The half-length victory in West Virginia was the 13th in 25 starts for Game On Dude and pushed his earnings to $4,702,158.
Three of those wins have come in four starts over Cushion Track. Game On Dude’s other local successes came in the Grade II Californian and Grade III Native Diver in 2012.
Game On Dude was given 127 pounds, the largest weight assignment of his career. The last horse to win the Gold Cup carrying that impost was Perrault in 1982. Affirmed was the last horse to win carrying more weight. He won under 132 pounds in 1979.
Baffert also entered Sky Kingdom for Westrock Stables LLC. A 4-year-old son of Empire Maker and the Kingmambo mare Sky Beam, Sky Kingdom has won four of 10 and earned $233,980. His initial win occurred Nov. 24, 2011 in his Cushion Track debut prior to a fourth-place finish in the Grade I CashCall Futurity a bit more than three weeks later.
Sky Kingdom has been idle since trailing as the 13-10 favorite in his first start on turf in the Grade II San Juan Capistrano Handicap April 21.
Clubhouse Ride ended a streak of five runner-up finishes in a row with his Californian success.
Trained by Craig Lewis, who won the 1988 Gold Cup with Cutlass Reality, for Six-S Racing Stable and Nikolas Petralia, the 5-year-old son of Candy Ride finished a half-length behind Game On Dude at nearly 13-1 in the Charles Town Classic.
Out of the Seeking the Gold mare Seeking Results, Clubhouse Ride has won four of 28 and banked $959,620.
Third in the 2012 Gold Cup, Kettle Corn will be seeking his first win as a 6-year-old for Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable and trainer John Sadler.
The son of Candy Ride was second in the LeRoy before checking in fourth in the Californian. He’s won seven of 22 in his career and banked $433,111.
Oilisblackgold, who is without a stakes win, was third in the Californian, 4 ½ lengths behind Clubhouse Ride.
Owned by Class Racing Stable and trained by Craig Dollase, who won the 2010 Gold Cup with Awesome Gem, the 6-year-old Tapit gelding out of the Seeking the Gold mare has three wins in 26 attempts and earnings of $256,240.
The Gold Cup will mark his first start in a Grade I. The Californian was his fourth appearance in a graded event. Oilisblackgold was second in the Grade III Tokyo City March 23 at Santa Anita after finishing fourth in the Grade II San Diego Handicap and fifth in the Grade II Strub Stakes in 2011.
From inside out, the field for the 74th Hollywood Gold Cup: Clubhouse Ride, Joe Talamo rides, 119 pounds; Game On Dude, Mike Smith, 127; Oilisblackgold, Edwin Maldonado, 115; Kettle Corn, Rafael Bejarano, 116 and Sky Kingdom, Martin Garcia, 116.
Schiaparelli will race beyond 6 ½ furlongs for the first time in her career in the Royal Heroine Mile.
Owned by breeder Ran Jan Racing, Inc. and trained by Mike Puype, the 5-year-old gray daughter of Ghostzapper and the Avenue of Flags mare Cambiocorsa has won four of eight and earned $184,184.
Schiaparelli comes off a decisive win as the 3-5 favorite in the Great Lady M. Stakes May 26, her second win in three starts over the Betfair Hollywood Park turf.
My Gi Gi will be seeking her first win since defeating Lady of Shamrock by a nose in the Grade II Honeymoon Handicap June 9, 2012.
Owned by Dennis Conner, Lloyd Debruycker and Wade Jacobsen and trained by Peter Eurton, the 4-year-old E Dubai filly finished fifth in the Grade I Gamely May 27, her first start in eight months. Out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Relish the Thought, My Gi Gi has won two of 11 and earned $255,540.
Stormy Lucy finished fast for fourth in the Redondo Beach Stakes June 9 in her 2013 bow for Erica Gaunt and trainer Frank Lucarelli.
A daughter of Stormy Atlantic and the Dixieland Band mare Here Comes Lucinda, the 4-year-old has won four of 14 and banked $210,470. Prior to the Redondo Beach, Stormy Lucy had been away since trailing in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf last Nov. 2.
I Dazzle returns to turf after finishing third behind Open Water and Lady of Fifty in the Grade II Marjorie L. Everett Handicap May 18.
Trained by Sadler for owners Katie Jones and Peter Peluso, the 5-year-old Hold That Tiger mare has won four of 17 and banked $196,837. Out of the Carson City mare Miss Cheers, the 5-year-old, who was bred in Louisiana, has earned three of her victories on grass.
Appealing had a two-race win streak snapped when she finished ninth of 11 after pressing the pace in the Redondo Beach.
Trained by Paddy Gallagher for owner Yvonne Jacques, the 4-year-old daughter of Bertolini and the Spectrum mare Radiant Energy has won four of 12. The Irish-bred, who won an optional claimer by 3 ½ lengths at the Royal Heroine distance in her Betfair Hollywood Park debut May 19, has earned $98,629.
Egg Drop won by three-quarters of a length in her initial try on grass in a $57,842 allowance May 24.
Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and trained by Mike Mitchell, the gray daughter of Alphabet Soup and the Adhocracy mare Rehocracy has won three of eight. The 4-year-old has earned $134,020.
From inside out, the field for the 17th Royal Heroine Mile: Stormy Lucy, Martin Pedroza rides, 123 pounds; Appealing, Mike Smith, 117; Schiaparelli, Joe Talamo, 117; My Gi Gi, Edwin Maldonado, 115; Egg Drop, Martin Garcia, 117 and I Dazzle, Rafael Bejarano, 123.
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