The 73rd Running of the Hollywood Gold Cup (GI) - $500,000 Guaranteed





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Published on Jul 7, 2012

A year after she and Game On Dude lost by a nose to First Dude in the Grade I, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, jockey Chantal Sutherland and Awesome Again gelding made amends in 2012.

The anticipated victory by the 2-5 favorite in the 73rd renewal of Betfair Hollywood Park's signature race was historic. Sutherland, who became the first female to ride in the race in 2011, became the first of her sex to win Saturday, prevailing by 1 ½ lengths over 5-2 second choice Richard's Kid.

The finish gave Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his second exacta sweep in as many years. The win was his fourth in the Gold Cup. Real Quiet (1999) and Congaree (2003) preceded First Dude and Game On Dude.

Becoming the first horse to win the Gold Cup a year after finishing second since Ancient Title followed his runner-up effort to Tree Of Knowledge in 1974 with a 1975 victory under Laffit Pincay, Jr., Game On Dude completed the 1 ¼ miles over Cushion Track in 2:04.19.

Owned by a Joe Torre's Diamond Pride LLC, Lanni Family Trust, Ernie Moody's Mercedes Stable LLC and Bernie Schiappa, Game On Dude, who carried top weight of 124 pounds, won for the eighth time in 18 starts. The $300,000 payday pushed his bankroll to $2,644,658.

Since the Gold Cup was a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In'' event, Game On Dude earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, a race in which he was second to Drosselmeyer last Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. This year's Classic will be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

Additionally, all entry fees will be waived for Game On Dude and his owners will receive a $10,000 travel allowance.

Winning for the second time in six starts at 10 furlongs, Game On Dude paid $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10. He was the shortest priced winner of the Gold Cup since Affirmed returned $2.60 in 1979.

Tracking surprising pacesetter Spud Spivens through a quicker than expected 47.71 opening half mile, Game On Dude started to inch away around the far turn, kicked three lengths clear with a quarter of a mile to run and held sway under some left handed encouragement from Sutherland.

Third behind Awesome Gem and Rail Trip in the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup, Richard's Kid finished 6 ¼ lengths clear of 7-1 third choice Kettle Corn and paid $2.60 and $2.10. The show price on Kettle Corn, who was second when Game On Dude won the Californian by 7 ¼ lengths June 2, was $2.60.

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