Trainer Bob Baffert gave high marks to Game On Dude following a bullet seven-furlong work at Santa Anita March 16 in preparation for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). The trainer was also upbeat about his other runner for the March 31 program.
“He looks great; he looks healthy and ready,” Baffert said of Game On Dude. “I’m really happy with the way he is coming in to the (World Cup).”
Game On Dude was clocked in 1:25 for the workout, which was accomplished in company with stablemate Midnight Crooner. The 5-year-old Awesome Again gelding is owned by a partnership consisting of Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride, the Lanni Family Trust, and Mercedes Stable.
Two days earlier, brilliant speedster The Factor breezed five furlongs in 1:01 at Hollywood Park as he prepares for the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I). Baffert said the 4-year-old War Front colt “is training like anything.
“He’s just got to go over there and lay down one of his races,” Baffert said. He added that even though he believes The Factor favors seven furlongs over the Golden Shaheen’s 1,200 meters (about six furlongs), the big purse is a major incentive at this time of year when there are not many rich races for sprinters in the United States.
Owned by George Bolton and Fog City Stable, The Factor boasts two grade I wins, including one over Del Mar’s Polytrack. Game On Dude, the 2011 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) runner-up, also has run well on synthetic surfaces. He missed by just a nose in last year’s Hollywood Cup Gold Handicap (gr. I) on Cushion Track.
Both Game On Dude and The Factor are to fly to Dubai on March 20 and are expected to have their first view of Meydan Racecourse after clearing quarantine on March 24.
Meydan’s all-weather track can change depending on the weather in Dubai and maintenance procedures, noted Baffert, and thus he is not sure how his runners will handle it on World Cup day. The trainer went to Dubai last year with grade I-winning sprinter Euroears, who “bounced over” the track in the mornings but then found it deep and tiring when he finished second in the Dubai Golden Shaheen.
“You never know what the track is going to be like until the night of the races,” Baffert said.
The trainer plans to arrive in Dubai on March 25 and will be accompanied by his wife, Jill, and son, Bode, for what he called a “working vacation
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he added.