No Dubai World Cup for Game On Dude
Photo: Benoit Photography
Game On Dude in the Santa Anita Handicap.

Although Bob Baffert’s request for a Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) invitation for his Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Game On Dude was duly delivered by the Dubai Racing Club, the gelding will be staying in his stall at Santa Anita rather than racing for $10-million on March 26.
   
Baffert said after Game On Dude galloped on March 14 that he “has got something in his foot … it looks like an abscess ready to pop.”
   
“I just don’t feel comfortable putting him on a plane,” Baffert added, noting that the American-based horses running in Dubai are flying out for the Middle East on March 15. “If I had an extra week to work with it, it might be OK, but I had to pull the plug on him.
    
“Everything happens for a reason,” he added philosophically.
    
Baffert said he would like to run another star from his stable in the World Cup, 2010 Santa Anita Handicap winner Misremembered, who recently scored an impressive win in the Santana Mile Stakes. However, with no time to make arrangements, he said he also had reservations about how the son of Candy Ride   would handle Meydan Racecourse’s all-weather surface.
     
Despite the setback with Game On Dude, who would have been seeking Baffert’s third victory in the Dubai World Cup following wins by Silver Charm and Captain Steve in 1998 and 2001, respectively, the trainer still plans to visit Meydan to saddle Euroears in the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I).
   
Winner of the Palos Verdes Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita on Jan. 22, Euroears worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:09.80 on March 14.
   
“He worked very well,” Baffert said of the 7-year-old son of Langfuhr   who races for James and Marilyn Helzer. “He’s ready.”
  
Euroears will join last year’s Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Kinsale King and six other California-based runners on the plane from Los Angeles to Dubai. That flight will stop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to pick up five horses based in Florida, making for a 13-strong American contingent for the $26-million Dubai World Cup program.

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