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Jul 27, 2012

Game On Dude continues to lead NTRA Poll


New York, NY (Sports Network) - Game On Dude, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup, remains the leader in the latest NTRA Poll. This is the third straight week the gelding is in first-place.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude received 14 top votes and 347 points to maintain his position as the leading thoroughbred in the country. The five- year-old, co-owned by Joe Torre, is working toward another start in the Pacific Classic on Aug. 26 at Del Mar. He was fourth last year to Acclamation.

"We're pointing for it (Pacific Classic) but he'll have to be on his game," Baffert said recently. "As long as he's on his game we'll run."

The next four spots in the poll remain as they were last week.

Ron the Greek, trained by Bill Mott, picked up seven first-place votes and 312 points. The five-year-old will start next in the Whitney Handicap on Aug. 4 at Saratoga.

"He's a big, strong horse, so it probably took him a little time to come into his own," said Mott about Ron the Greek who will try to become the first horse to sweep the Santa Anita Handicap and Whitney in the same year.

In third-place is Mucho Macho Man, winner of the Suburban Handicap. The four- year-old garnered two top votes and 305 points.

Shackleford, stabled at Churchill Downs, holds on to fourth with three top votes and 269 points. Trainer Dale Romans has the four-year-old set for the Forego on Sept. 1 at Saratoga.

Bill Mott also trains newly crowned Delaware Handicap winner Royal Delta. The four-year-old filly picked up two first-place votes and 241 points off Saturday's win. The Eclipse Award winner will start on Aug. 26 at Saratoga in the Personal Ensign.

"I'm hoping to run her in the Personal Ensign. That would be the plan," Mott said Sunday.

Climbing two spots to sixth is Acclamation who won his second straight Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday. Trained by Don Warren, the six-year-old notched three top votes and 238 points. Warren is looking to get the horse another win in the Pacific Classic in August.

"We'll be looking at the Pacific Classic, just like last year," Warren said. "I have the option of going (in) the Del Mar Handicap as well if I want to stay on the turf."

Retired Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another is seventh with 12 first-place votes and 189 points.

Wise Dan continues his slide down the poll. The five-year-old gelding is now eighth with 139 points. Bodemeister holds on to ninth with 72 points and debuting in 10th is three-year-old turf runner Silver Max.

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