Game On Dude took his stellar career to new heights Sunday at Del Mar with a record-setting 8 1/2-length victory in the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1).
Game On Dude's win gave Bob Baffert his fourth win in the Del Mar meet's signature race, the first coming in 1999 with General Challenge, then back-to-back victories by Richard's Kid in 2009-10.
Making his third start in the Classic, Game On Dude asserted himself right from the start. With Martin Garcia subbing for injured Joel Rosario, Game On Dude broke very alertly from post 10, getting in the clear to move over to the rail and the lead when the field passed under the wire for the first time.
Game On Dude settled into a perfectly relaxed pace down the backstretch, and after six furlongs in 1:12.03 with a length lead, it looked as though the field was going to be left fighting for the runner-up spot. That proved to be the case as Garcia let his mount go, and “The Dude” drew away with ease, widening his margin with every stride, leaving the field far behind.
The final time for the 1 1/4-miles was 2:00.69.
The Pacific Classic win raised Game On Dude's earnings to $5,602,158, moving him to 29th on the all-time Thoroughbred leading earners list. He is owned by the partnership of Diamond Pride, Bernie Schiappa, Lanni Family Trust, and Mercedes Stable LLC. He has won 15 of 27 lifetime starts, with 13 of the wins coming in graded stakes.