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Features - RACING

Photos courtesy Benoit & Associates

By Mike Curry, @currymj19, America’s Best Racing

Game On Dude joined Lava Man, Milwaukee Brew and John Henry in the record books as a two-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and he accomplished the feat with remarkable ease.

The 6-year-old Awesome Again gelding went right to the front on Saturday in the 1 ¼-mile race and set a strong pace under Hall of Famer Mike Smith. When the duo rolled into the stretch with a commanding lead, Game On Dude had plenty left in the tank and surged to a 7 3/4-length romp to secure the $450,000 winner’s share of the $750,000 purse.

Game On Dude boosted his career earnings to more than $3.7 million with his fifth career Grade 1 win. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert conditions Game On Dude for owners Diamond Pride, Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable and Bernie Schiappa.

The 2013 Big ’Cap marked the first-ever showdown of two previous winners in the history of the race with 2011 winner Game On Dude facing 2012 winner Ron the Greek. Sent off as the overwhelming favorite, Game On Dude made sure it was not much of a battle as he effortlessly dispatched the opposition in front of 26,901 fans.

Game On Dude returned $4.60 for a $2 win bet. He won for the eighth time in his last 12 races and improved to 12 victories in 24 lifetime starts. Game On Dude was bred in Kentucky by Adena Springs.

Clubhouse Ride finished second at 27-1 odds, edging Called to Serve by a nose for the runner-up spot. Ron the Greek finished another 1 ½ lengths back in fourth.

Game On Dude completed 1 ¼ miles in 2:00.14 to join Lava Man (2006, 2007), Milwaukee Brew (2002, 2003) and John Henry (1981, 1982) as 2-time winners of Santa Anita’s signature race.

For an Equibase chart, click here.

BERNIE SCHIAPPA LEADS GAME ON DUDE INTO THE WINNER'S CIRCLE

Game On Dude -Smith -Schiappa

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