Grade I winner and multi-millionaire Awesome Gem has been retired from racing, according to West Point Thoroughbreds.
The 9-year-old son of Awesome Again was scheduled to run in the Sept. 23 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Handicap at Fairplex Park. However, according to a statement by West Point, trainer Craig Dollase informed the owners that Awesome Gem had developed filling in a front leg.
"The decision to retire was easy," said West Point president Terry Finley. "Gem is telling us something."
"He's been a horse of a lifetime for his partners, West Point Thoroughbreds, and team Dollase," Finley continued. "After a seven-year career, he owes us nothing. This horse took us across the globe, to four Breeders' Cups, and won or placed in 22 graded stakes. We'll find him a very good home to live out his days. I sincerely appreciate the support of his partners over the years."
"Awesome Gem is truly a gem," added Dollase, who trained the chestnut gelding for all of his 52 starts. "Today marks the end of a wonderful career. He's been amazingly sound the past seven years, and I'm very proud of his long list of accomplishments. My team sure will miss him around the barn, but we know he'll go to a great home."
Based on the West Coast for the first four years of his career, Awesome Gem also excelled at several other tracks across the country. Among his biggest accomplishments are wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), San Fernando Stakes (gr. II), Longacres Mile (gr. III), Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III), and Berkeley Handicap (gr. III).
He also placed in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Eddie Read, Pacific Classic, and Goodwood Stakes (all gr. I); the grade II San Antonio and New Orleans Handicaps; the grade III Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap, All American, and Sir Beaufort Stakes; and the $1 million Charles Town Classic.
Awesome Gem retired with an overall record of 11-15-7 from 52 starts and earnings of $2,881,370.
Bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm, Catesby Clay, and Peter Callahan, Awesome Gem is out of the Pentelicus mare Piano.
After bringing $150,000 as a yearling, Awesome Gem was bought for the same amount by West Point at the 2006 Barrett's March 2-year-olds in training sale. He was consigned by Buzz Chase, agent, for Crupi's New Castle Farm.