Game on Dude made it look easy when he cruised past his opponents in the San Antonia Stakes
The dark brown 5-year-old gelding, Game on Dude, was in bit of a bother when he hopped slightly in a bit of a slow start, under jockey Chantal Sutherland, breaking for the Grade 2, $200,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita Park’s dirt course on 5 February, 2012, but did it easily in the end to win the 1 1/8 mile test and his seasonal debut in style to announce his arrival for the new campaign.
The San Antonia Stakes was reduced to a field of five, due to early scratches of Tres Borrachos and Ashtar, but it wasn’t Game on Dude’s fault as he got into his cruising speed up the stretch, and didn’t break much of a sweat, which indicated that he is all the more at his natural ease.
The Kentucky bred son of Awesome Again, out of mare Worldly Pleasure by Devil His Due, Game on Dude posted a 5 ¼ length victory over Uh Oh Bango, and downed the 1 1/8 mile distance at Santa Anita’s fast track in 1 minute and 46.88 seconds.
The Bob Baffert trained big gelding was coming off a second place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs last fall, when he came close to stealing the Classic from Drosselmeyer, before settling for second position, being sent as the 14 to 1 choice.
Trainer Bob Baffert didn’t reveal much regarding his winning gelding’s next start.
The trainer revealed that he would have to sit down with the owners to discuss on whether Game on Dude should be sent to Dubai for the Group 1, $10 million Dubai World Cup on 31 March, 2012, at the Meydan.
“We’ll have to sit down and see how he comes out of it (the race),” Baffert said. “He ran pretty hard today.”
If Game on Dude doesn’t go to Dubai, he can always stay here and defend his title in the Grade 1 $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap, which he won last year with Chantal Sutherland, who also guided him to victory in the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes last October.