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Sep 28, 2012

Game On Dude odds-on for Awesome Again

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Hollywood Gold Cup winner Game On Dude is the 3-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The 1 1/8-mile event was formerly known as the Goodwood Stakes.

Game On Dude, sired by Awesome Again, will start from the inside post in the nine horse field. Getting the riding assignment from trainer Bob Baffert is Rafael Bejarano, who replaces Chantal Sutherland.

The 5-year-old gelding, partly owned by Joe Torre, is coming off a second- place finish to Dullahan in the Pacific Classic as the 13-10 favorite. The runner-up result came after he won the Gold Cup on July 7 and the Californian on June 2.

His victory in the Gold Cup saved him a place in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Santa Anita. The Awesome Again is also a "Win and You're In" race.

Game On Dude began the year with a 5 1/4 length victory in the San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita, but finished 12th in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

In 19 career starts the gelding has won eight with earnings of better than $2.8 million.

Making his first start for new owners Triple B Farms and Westside Rentals will be 9-2 second pick Richard's Kid. Trained by Doug O'Neill, the 7-year-old will be ridden by Garrett Gomez from post seven.

"He's been training unbelievably well on the (dirt) training track at Hollywood," said Dennis O'Neill, brother of Doug. "We're excited. I think there's enough speed in there to set it up. I think we should be in a good spot and I love picking up Garrett (Gomez0 for the race. There's nobody better at coming from behind than him."

Formerly trained by Baffert, Richard's Kid was third in the Pacific Classic, a race he won in 2009 and 2010. The veteran racehorse won the Cougar II at Del Mar on July 27 after finishing second in the Hollywood Gold Cup.

"Hopefully we're sitting in the garden spot and we mow 'em down," Dennis O'Neill said on the Awesome Again. "The Del Mar race (Pacific Classic) was a throw out. He had a horrendous trip, got left coming out of there and just got dead-stopped when he was trying to make his run."

Richard's Kid has earned $2.1 million with 11 wins in 36 races.

Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally has Suggestive Boy in the race as the 5-1 third choice. The Argentine horse will start from post five with Joe Talamo again in the saddle.

"We're going to give it a try," McAnally said. "If he runs well, then we can come back in the Breeders' Cup. If he doesn't run well, then we'll switch to the grass."

The 4-year-old colt will be making his dirt debut in the Awesome Again after eight turf starts and one on synthetic. Suggestive Boy was fifth on Del Mar's Polytrack surface in the Pacific Classic.

Since arriving from South America, Suggestive Boy was second in the Shoemaker Mile on turf on June 30 and won the Wickerr Stakes at one mile on turf July 25 at Del Mar.

Suggestive Boy has won five of his nine lifetime starts for $409,654.

The field for the Awesome Again in post position order: Game On Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 3-5; Winning Machine, Javier Matias, 20-1; Nonios, Martin Pedroza, 12-1; Groovin' Solo, David Flores, 30-1; Suggestive Boy, Joe Talamo, 5-1; Empire Way, Brice Blanc, 30-1; Richard's Kid, Garrett Gomez, 9-2; Balladry, Victor Espinoza, 20-1 and Rail Trip, Jose Valdivia Jr., 6-1.

Post-time for the Awesome Again Stakes is set for 8:38 p.m. (ET).



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