‘Dude’ works 7 furlongs, eyes Californian
Game On Dude, a multiple Grade I winner and narrow loser to stablemate First Dude in last year’s Hollywood Gold Cup, sped seven furlongs Sunday morning at Santa Anita in 1:24 and Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is considering the Awesome Again gelding for Saturday’s $150,000 Californian Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track.
Baffert also nominated Prayer for Relief and Richard’s Kid to the Grade II event, but their status is undetermined.
According to track clockers, Game On Dude went the first five furlongs in 1:00 and the last quarter in mile in 24 seconds. He galloped out a mile in 1:37 while in company with 2011 Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude. The drill was the fifth for Game On Dude since he finished 12th of 13 in the $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup March 31st.
If Game On Dude starts, the Californian sets up an intriguing match with recent Grade II Mervyn LeRoy winner Morning Line. John Shirreffs has been pointing the millionaire for this race all along and the Tiznow 5-year-old has the recency edge on his main rival.