Awesome Gem Headed To Charles Town Classic
West Point Thoroughbreds' first millionaire, Awesome Gem will look to push his career earnings over the $2 million mark on Saturday night when he takes on 9 other rivals in the $1,000,000 Charles Town Classic at Charles Town in West Virginia.
The classy seven-year-old is making his third start of 2010. In his most recent race, he was a solid third in the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds on March 27th. He was in tight quarters around the final turn, but still finished strongly to hit the board.
He is poised for a big effort in the Charles Town Classic, and with an abundance of speed in the race, expect him to be flying late.
In 2009, Awesome Gem captured the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), over a conventional dirt surface. Also in 2009, the chestnut son of Awesome Again was second in both the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. I) and Longacres Mile (gr. III), and third in the Berkley Handicap (gr. III).
His 2008 took West Point Thoroughbreds to the highest levels of racing, as he competed in the Breeders' Cup Mile and was invited to run in the Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse.
Awesome Gem has hit the board in thirteen-graded stakes races, including four Grade I's, and won the San Fernando Stakes (G2) in 2007. He also finished second in both the Pacific Classic (G1) and the Goodwood (G1) in 2007. He culminated that year with a third place finish behind Curlin in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). His career earnings currently stand at just shy of $1.7 million.
Trainer Craig Dollase says, "He ran a very good race in the New Orleans Handicap. It is a shame he had nowhere to go at the top of the lane. He has had two very nice works since his last start, and I think he has a big shot in here. There is a ton of pace, so the race should set up perfectly."
Terry Finley, President of West Point Thoroughbreds says, "After he ran so well in the New Orleans Handicap, we knew we had to take a shot in here. He has been a great horse for us, and we are extremely excited about his 2010 campaign. I think his best surface may be conventional dirt."
Post time for the Charles Town Classic is 10:30 EDT on Saturday night. Regular rider David Flores accompanies Awesome Gem to West Virginia.