Game On Dude
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Game On Dude
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Chad B. Harmon

Game On Dude Assigned 127 Pounds for Gold Cup

West Coast stalwart looks for consecutive wins in Hollywood Park's signature event.

Defending champion Game On Dude drew top weight of 127 pounds for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 6.

At 1 1/4 miles over Cushion Track, the 74th Gold Cup will be run Saturday for the final time at Betfair Hollywood Park. The track’s signature race is part of a stakes doubleheader. The supporting feature is the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares on turf.

Owned by a partnership that includes Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride, Lanni Family Trust, Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable, and Bernie Schiappa and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Game On Dude will try to become the third horse to win the Gold Cup more than once. Native Diver (1965-1967) and Lava Man (2005-2007) were three-time winners.

The 127-pound impost is the largest of Game On Dude’s career. The most he’s ever carried to victory is 125, when he captured the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) by 7 3/4 lengths March 2. The 6-year-old son of Awesome Again  won last year's Gold Cup in front-running fashion by 1 1/2 lengths over Richard's Kid  while carrying 124.

Should Game On Dude, who is 3-for-3 in 2013, prevail for the 14th time in his 26th start, he would surpass $5 million in earnings. He’s banked $4,702,158.

Other probable participants and their weight assignments include the Baffert-trained 2011 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) winner Liaison  (119), Grade II Californian winner Clubhouse Ride  (119), 2011 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) winner Kettle Corn  (116), and Oilisblackgold (115). Batti Man (113) is possible.

The remaining Gold Cup nominees are All Squared Away (118), Golden Ticket  (117), and Sky Kingdom  (116).

Entries for the Gold Cup and Royal Heroine will be taken July 3.