INGLEWOOD, Calif. (August 23, 2012)—Successful as the favorite in the Hollywood Gold Cup July 7 at Betfair Hollywood Park, Game On Dude will try to make it consecutive Grade I victories in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic Sunday at Del Mar.
Scheduled for 1 ¼ miles over Polytrack, the Classic is the 10th of 11 races. Del Mar’s post time Sunday is 1 p.m. Scheduled post time for the main event is 5:20 p.m. Track gates at Betfair Hollywood Park will open at 10 a.m. for simulcasts.
Owned by a partnership that includes Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride LLC, Lanni Family Trust, Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable and Bernie Schiappa and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Game On Dude will be seeking to become the first Gold Cup winner to capture the Classic in the same year since Lava Man in 2006.
A 5-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again, Game On Dude, who finished fourth in this event in 2011, has won eight of 18 and earned $2,644,658.
Baffert, who will also be represented by longshot Jaycito, is aiming for his fourth Classic victory, second only to the late Bobby Frankel, who won six. Baffert’s victories have come with General Challenge (1999) and Richard’s Kid (2009-2010).
The field of 10 also includes 2009 Gold Cup winner Rail Trip, fresh off a victory in the San Diego Handicap for owner Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Ron Ellis. The 7-year-old Jump Star gelding has won nine of 20 and banked $1,253,790.
If Rail Trip wins Sunday, he would be the oldest horse to take the Classic. Pleasantly Perfect was a 6-year-old when he scored in 2004 for Gerald Ford’s Diamond A Racing Corporation and Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.
From inside out, the field for the 22nd TVG Pacific Classic: Rail Trip, Jose Valdivia, Jr. rides, 124 pounds; Amani, Garrett Gomez, 119; Richard’s Kid, Victor Espinoza, 124; Where’s Sterling, Paco Lopez, 124; Dullahan, Joel Rosario, 118; Akkadian, Martin Garcia, 124; Jaycito, Rafael Bejarano, 124; Suggestive Boy, Joe Talamo, 124; Game On Dude, Chantal Sutherland, 124 and Riveting Reason, David Flores, 124.
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