INGLEWOOD, Calif. (July 15, 2012)—Game On Dude, who won the Californian and Hollywood Gold Cup, was a unanimous selection as Horse of the Meet in the annual media poll as the 50-day Spring/Summer season at Betfair Hollywood Park ended Sunday.
Owned by 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, the 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding defeated stablemate Richard’s Kid in the Gold Cup.
The 1 ½ length score enabled jockey Chantal Sutherland to become the first female to win Betfair Hollywood Park’s signature event. Four weeks earlier, Game On Dude rolled to a 7 ¼ length win in the Grade II Californian. He was the first horse to win both races in the same year since Lava Man in 2005.
Game On Dude, who earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 3 at Santa Anita by virtue of his Gold Cup success, was also a unanimous choice as the top older male.
Other unanimous winners were Hollywood Juvenile Championship winner Scherer Magic as 2-year-old male and Landaluce Stakes heroine Executiveprivilege as 2-year-old filly. The latter was also honored – in an extremely close vote – as top 2-year-old.
American Oaks winner Lady of Shamrock was selected 3-year-old and 3-year-old filly while Blueskiesnrainbows, who went gate-to-wire in the Grade II Swaps July 4, was chosen 3-year-old male.
Acclamation, the talented California bred who returned to win the Charles Whittingham Memorial for a third consecutive year in his 2012 debut, edged Shoemaker Mile winner Jeranimo for turf horse honors while Belle Royale, who won the Grade I Gamely Stakes May 28, was the female turf horse.
Other thoroughbred winners were Camp Victory, the upset winner of the Triple Bend Handicap, as sprinter, Love Theway Youare, who shocked heavily-favored Include Me Out in the Vanity Handicap, as older female, and Missdealornodeal, a 6-year-old Benchmark mare who won three times for owners Sky Chase Farm, TNIP LLC, George Todaro and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, as claiming horse.
All three of the human winners were unanimous – Bob Baffert (trainer), Rafael Bejarano (jockey) and Eswan Flores (apprentice jockey).
In repeating as Spring/Summer champion, Baffert finished with 35 victories, including a meet-high 11 stakes.
Bejarano, who finished with 74 wins, 25 more than runner-up Joe Talamo, was also tops with 13 stakes victories. The riding title was Bejarano’s fourth – including the 2010 Oak Tree meet – at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The 24 victories by Flores, 19, placed him seventh in the jockey standings.
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