Game On Dude and Midnight Hawk took small steps the morning of Feb. 2 toward potential paths of greater achievements, each preparing for weekend stakes engagements for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Game On Dude, in his final major move for the Feb. 8 San Antonio Stakes (gr. II), covered four furlongs under Martin Garcia in :48 at the 7:45 a.m. (PST) break at Santa Anita Park.
Midnight Hawk worked five furlongs in company with Awesome Baby in preparation for the Feb. 8 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II), an important prep for the April 5 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
The son of two-time Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Midnight Lute who is unbeaten in two starts including the Jan. 11 Sham Stakes (gr. III), Midnight Hawk was clocked in 1:00 3/5 for five furlongs, also with Garcia aboard.
Midnight Hawk started some six to eight lengths behind Awesome Baby, closed the gap on the far turn and then wore down his stablemate to finish a half-length in front at the wire. Private clocker Gary Young caught the seven-furlong gallop-out in 1:26 2/5.
"All systems are a go," Baffert said. "We're all set."
Game On Dude could face as few as three rivals in the San Antonio, Santa Anita's final stakes steppingstone to the March 8 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). In addition to Game On Dude, probable San Antonio entrants include San Pasqual Stakes (gr. II) winner Blueskiesnrainbows, American Blend, and Willyconker.
Trainer Patrick Biancone said he has retained the services of Julien Leparoux to ride Oak Tree Juvenile Turf Stakes winner Diamond Bachelor in the Lewis.
"She's ready to run, but we haven't been able to get a race to fill for her," said Dottie Ingordo Shirreffs, racing manager for owners Jerry and Ann Moss and Shirreff's wife.
To watch Eblouissante's workout, go to HRTV.com.