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Dec 07, 2012

Game On Dude exits Native Diver headed for Big 'Cap


Inglewood, CA (Sports Network) - Game On Dude found something extra in winning Saturday's $250,000 Native Diver Stakes at Hollywood Park and came away in good shape after fighting off Nonios to win the 1 1/8-mile stakes

"I thought he was impressive," said Mike Marlow, longtime assistant to trainer Bob Baffert. "He was tested all the way. Mike Smith's move on the first turn was a key factor in the race."

Owned in part by Joe Torre, Game On Dude posted a 1 1/4-length win over his 3- year-old challenger and will soon be transferred from Hollywood Park to Santa Anita. The 5-year-old gelding will be pointed toward the Santa Anita Handicap in March.

The victory was a bit of redemption for Game On Dude who finished seventh as the 13-10 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 3 at Santa Anita. The loss to Fort Larned knocked Baffert's horse out of Horse of the Year consideration.

"It's just a shame that he ran great races all year long and had a bad trip in the Breeders' Cup. But it's a new day today," Baffert noted after the Native Diver victory.

The win had significance for Game On Dude's connections as it put the gelding over the $3 million mark in lifetime earnings. He will begin his 6-year-old campaign in 2013 with career earnings of $3,132,158.

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