INGLEWOOD, Calif. (August 25, 2010)—Awesome Gem, who earned the biggest win of his career when upsetting favored Rail Trip in the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10, will try for another significant victory Saturday at Del Mar.
A 7-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and trained by Craig Dollase, Awesome Gem is among 10 scheduled to compete in the $1 million Pacific Classic. A Grade 1 at 1 ¼ miles, the Classic is the eighth of 11 races on the program.
If Awesome Gem, who has won seven of 36 and earned $2,274,682, is successful Saturday, he will become the third horse to win both the Gold Cup and the Pacific Classic. The Kentucky bred would join Lava Man (2006) and Gentlemen (1997).
The field also includes The Usual Q.T., who earned the first of his two Grade I scores in the Hollywood Derby last Nov. 29.
A California bred son of Unusual Heat owned by a partnership and trained by Jim Cassidy, The Usual Q.T., who won the Eddie Read Handicap earlier in the meet, is seeking his first win over a synthetic surface. He has started five times on something other than turf and has managed to finish second on three occasions. Victor Espinoza will ride the Usual Q.T. and David Flores retains the mount on Awesome Gem.
The Pacific Classic is not the only Grade 1 Saturday. Two races later, E Z’s Gentleman, who earned the first Grade I victory of his career in the Triple Bend Handicap on July 10 at Hollywood Park, will try for another in the $300,000 Pat O’Brien.
Owned by Arnold Zetcher and trained by Bob Baffert, E Z’s Gentleman, a 5-year-old son of Yankee Gentleman, will be joined by stablemate Sangaree and eight others in the race at seven furlongs.
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