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Awesome Gem Tries For 2nd Grade 1 Win!

September 30, 2010 · By · Share

West Point’s multiple graded stakes winner and veteran campaigner Awesome Gem looks to stamp his ticket to his fourth straight Breeders’ Cup on Saturday in the $250,000 Goodwood (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Hollywood Park. You can count to horses who have accomplished such a feat on one hand. We give credit to our team and trainer Craig Dollase for managing this horse very well and developing him into one of the top older horses in the country.

He's been called many things, "Rocky Balboa", "Senior-Set Superstar" and "Precious Gem". Sometimes he throws in clunkers. Most horses do (unless maybe you’re Zenyatta). We guarantee he won’t be the favorite on Saturday, but if he returns to Hollywood and runs like he did in the Hollywood Gold Cup, go ahead and march on into line to cash your ticket.

Some horses never make it to the races. Others never win. A small club exists of those talented enough to perform in stakes races. An even small group exists of those who can win stakes races. If there was a group called "I Was Seven When I Won My First Grade 1," Awesome Gem would be the president, and one of few (if any) members. 

We like to call him "The Gemster." Earlier this year, he was second in both the $1,000,000 Charles Town Classic and Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) after finishing third in the New Orleans Handicap (G2) before sneaking up the rail under David Flores to win the Gold Cup. He’s earned over $2.2 million in his career.

In 2009, Awesome Gem won the Hawthorne Gold Cup (G2). Also in 2009, he won a tough Del Mar allowance, was second in both the Eddie Read Handicap (G1) and the Longacres Mile (G3), and was third in the Berkley Stakes (G3).

This seven-year-old gelding has hit the board in fifteen-graded stakes races, including five Grade I's, and won the Grade II San Fernando Stakes 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.

Trainer Craig Dollase says, "He loves Hollywood and he couldn’t be doing any better. His last work was stellar and I know David (Flores) is pumped."

Terry Finley, president of West Point Thoroughbreds says, "How lucky are we to have a horse like this? Sure, sometimes he throws in a clunker, but stop and think about how much he has accomplished. Racing needs more horses like this. I might be a bit biased, but I think he is one of the most admirable horses in the country. 15 graded stakes races. Performances all over the country. An overseas trip to Hong Kong. Win, lose, or draw on Saturday, horses like this are what keep this sport exciting.

The Goodwood is race 9 on Saturday at Oak Tree at Hollywood with a post time of 5:20 PDT/8:20 EDT. Awesome Gem is #6 of 7 with regular pilot David Flores in the irons.

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