Game On Dude

Game On Dude

Benoit Photo

Game On Dude Has Eventful Drill at Del Mar

Loose horse causes commotion as multiple grade I winner worked five furlongs Aug. 1.

Game On Dude worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 Aug. 1 at Del Mar under Martin Garcia for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) later in the month, but it hardly turned out to be a routine drill.

As Game On Dude was rounding the stretch turn, a horse near the six-furlong chute dumped its rider and, while quickly caught, was momentarily loose. Warning buzzers sounded and red warning lights flashed briefly as the two-time Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup (both gr. I) winner rounded the turn and headed down the stretch.

Clocker Toby Turrell, who had called out an "easy" three furlongs in :36 2/5 over the Polytrack, noted the extra activity, and said, "Game On Dude is having an eventful work." He proceeded to catch later splits of :48 3/5 and a gallop-out around the turn "with good energy" in 1:14 4/5 for six furlongs.

Turrell noted that Game On Dude appeared to "skip" over the surface and that the work was done in hand, with no urging from Garcia.

Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bob Baffert, the 6-year-old Awesome Again  gelding heads into the Aug. 25 Pacific Classic having lost the past two editions of the race, his only prior starts over the track. He was fourth in the 2011 Pacific Classic and second last year to Dullahan, who he will likely face once again in this year's renewal.

Game On Dude has put in three works at Del Mar since the Hollywood Gold Cup. His Aug. 1 move was the 20th best of 40 at the distance on the morning.

Earlier in the meet, 'Dude worked a half-mile in :48 3/5 July 20, and three furlongs in :36 flat July 26.

Owned by Joe Torre's Diamond Pride, Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable, and Bernie Schiappa, Game On Dude has won 14 of 26 starts with five seconds and a third, good for earnings of $5,002,158.