Game On Dude

Game On Dude

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Game On Dude Heads Hollywood Gold Cup Noms

Californian winner lost last year's race by a nose to his stablemate First Dude.

Game On Dude, an easy winner of the Californian Stakes (gr. II) June 2, tops 13 nominees to the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I).

The signature race of the spring/summer meet, the Gold Cup, which is run at 1 ¼ miles over Cushion Track, will be renewed for the 73rd time July 7 at Betfair Hollywood Park. Weights for the Gold Cup will be issued July 1 with entries taken July 4.

Game On Dude was second by a scant nose in last year's Gold Cup to his Bob Baffert stablemate First Dude , with favored Twirling Candy  a neck farther back in third. The Gold Cup is a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In’’ race.

The BC nominated winner of the Gold Cup will earn automatic entry into the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), which will be run Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park, as well as having pre-entry and entry fees waived. The owner will also receive a $10,000 travel allowance.

Besides the Gold Cup, the July 7 card will include the Royal Heroine Mile (gr. IIT) on turf for fillies and mares. Post time is 1 p.m.

Owned by a partnership that includes Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride, the Lanni Family Trust, Ernie Moody’s Mercedes Stable, and Bernie Schiappa and trained by Hall of Famer Baffert, Game On Dude has won seven of 17 and earned $2,344,658.

A 5-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again  and the Devil His Due mare Worldly Pleasure, Game On Dude will be ridden by Chantal Sutherland, who could become the first female jockey to win the Gold Cup. The strapping dark bay's biggest wins came last year in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and Goodwood Stakes (gr. I).

Baffert, who has won the Gold Cup three times – First Dude, Congaree  (2003) and Real Quiet (1999) -- also nominated Richard’s Kid.

A two-time winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar, Richard’s Kid was successful in his return to the United States, easily winning the Prove It Stakes by 7 ¼ lengths June 8 at Hollywood Park.

Owned by Zabeel Racing International Corporation, the 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid  has won 10 of 33 and banked $1,826,385.

The nominees also include Papaw Bodie, who was second, beaten by a nose by Desert Blanc, in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) on turf June 9 at Belmont Park, and the Todd Pletcher-trained Queen'splatekitten.

The other nominees are the Eoin Harty-trained pair of Anthony's Cross  and Balladry, the John Sadler conditioned duo of Kettle Corn  and Gladding, Spud Spivens, Stately Victor, Thirtyfirststreet, Uh Oh Bango, and the Vanity Stakes (gr. I) upsetter Love Theway Youare.

Owned and trained by Myung Kwon Cho, Love Theway Youare, a 4-year-old Arch filly, rallied from last to defeat heavily favored Include Me Out in the Vanity June 16.

Love Theway Youare could become the fourth female to win the Gold Cup, following Happy Issue (1944), Two Lea (1946), and Princessnesian (1968).

The last filly or mare to hit the board in the race was Life Is Sweet, who finished third behind Rail Trip and Tres Borrachos in 2009.