Game On Dude continued his march to the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) with a big 3 1/4-length win in the $250,000 Awesome Again S.(G1) Saturday at Santa Anita. Game On Dude is now a perfect 5-for-5 at Santa Anita, site of the Breeders' Cup on Nov. 2-3.
The win by Game On Dude followed Grade One tallies by Baffert's 2-year-old duo of Executiveprivilege in the Chandelier S. and Power Broker in the FrontRunner S.
Game On Dude takes the Grade 1 Awesome Again S.
Game On Dude gave Baffert his third Grade One win in typical fashion for the 5-year-old gelding. Rafael Bejarano sat just behind early leader Winning Machine until the second turn, then let Game On Dude roll to the front coming into the stretch, and drawing away from that point. He got the nine furlongs in 1:48.98.
“I knew the number two horse (Winning Machine) was going to send,” said Bejarano. “My horse broke so fast from the gate that I let the other horse send a little bit to make sure I could hold my horse and put him in better position. After that the race was done because he was much the best horse in the race.”
“The break was really important for him,” said Baffert. “Sometimes he wants to get a little edgy in the gate, but he broke really well. Plan A was if he breaks well, don’t move on him. We knew the 2 horse was going to want to go to the lead. He found a seam right away and got him to the outside. They slowed it down, so he just sat there and waited, then asked him to run in the stretch. It was the prep (for the Breeders' Cup) that you want for a horse like this.”
Owned by Bernie Schiappa, Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride, and the Lanni Family Trust, Game On Dude improved his career record to 9-5-1 in 20 races with earnings of $2,994,658.
The victory gave Baffert his third straight win the Awesome Again, formerly known as the Goodwood. Game On Dude took the 2011 running, and Richard's Kid in 2010. Baffert also won the race in 1997 with Silver Charm.