West Point Duo Leads Stakes Action at Lone Star
West Point Thoroughbreds' California invaders El Gato Malo and Awesome Gem will look to sweep a stakes double this Monday at Lone Star Park.
El Gato Malo returns to action in the $150,000 Dallas Turf Cup Handicap going 1 1/16 miles on the Lone Star lawn. This is his first race back since running credibly in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. He returns to the site of his biggest career win, as he captured the 2009 Lone Star Derby (G3). "The Bad Cat's" most recent victory came in a tough Del Mar allowance race last summer. He has been training very well for trainer Craig Dollase, and enters the race with three bullet works to his credit. He has a record of 6-1-1 from 14 career starts and earnings over $534,000.
Awesome Gem will look to push his career earnings past the $2 million mark in the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (G3). He enters the race off a game second place finish in the Charles Town Classic on April 17th. Prior to the Charles Town Classic, he was a solid third in the New Orleans Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds.
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 over $1.9 million.
Craig Dollase, trainer of the duo says, "Both of these horses are training phenomenally. We are headed to Texas with a big shot in both races, El Gato Malo has not run in a while, but I really believe he is doing better than ever. I think Awesome Gem does his best racing on conventional dirt. It will be a fun day."
David Flores has the mount on both horses. El Gato Malo is number 5 of 11 in the Dallas Turf Cup, which is race 9. Post time is 5:19 CDT/6:19 EDT. Awesome Gem is number 3 of 8 in the Lone Star Park Handicap, which is race 10. Post time is 5:47 CDT/6:47 EDT.
Best of luck to both of them!