Eight-year-old Awesome Gem, who has competed in the past four Breeders’ Cups, will bypass the World Championships this year, according to West Point Thoroughbreds’ website.
Trainer Craig Dollase and West Point president Terry Finley met over the weekend to discuss options for the 8-year-old son of Awesome Again, who was second to Game On Dude by a half-length in the Oct. 8 Goodwood Stakes (gr. I) last out, and decided he would not make the trip to Churchill Downs.
Awesome Gem has made eight starts at eight different racetracks in 2011, including a pair of grade III victories. His best finish in a Breeders’ Cup race was in 2007 when finishing third to Curlin in the Classic (gr. I).
“Awesome Gem's earned a break this season,” Dollase said. “He’s a game, old contender who continues to live a healthy and happy life thanks to judicious placement, and we want to do the right thing by him. He came out of his last race with a very minor hind end issue that just needs some time on the farm to resolve.”
“I think there's a very good possibility we bring this horse back next year as a 9-year-old,” Finley said. “He loves his job and has a strong desire to compete.”
With a 9-15-5 record from 47 starts, Awesome Gem has earned more than $2.7 million.