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Awesome Gem/Runflatout Lead Big Weekend For WPT

July 07, 2011 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

West Point Thoroughbreds will certainly have a presence on Saturday at Hollywood Park, Hollywood Gold Cup day, which four black and gold bearers going postward.

 

Eight-year-old Awesome Gem seeks to reclaim his title in this year’s $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) after earning the first Grade 1 victory of his career in last year’s running. Saturday marks the first time he will start in Southern California this year. Most recently he won the Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) before finishing 2nd in the Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows on June 25th.
 

WPT President Terry Finley and trainer Craig Dollase made the decision to run on Tuesday evening after seeing how well this veteran rebounded out of the Cornhusker. "He's in good form and he loves this track," Dollase said. "I think he deserves a shot to defend his title. I've been really happy with him in the last week."


“He’s the type of horse that’s so easy on himself,” said Finley. “His last four races have been the best four of his career numbers wise, and he’s happy and healthy, so we’re going to be a bit old school and wheel right back. He’s a tremendous horse with an amazing body of work that has taken his Partners for a ride.”                 

 

Awesome Gem's 2010 Gold Cup win:

 


Happy Partners in the winner's circle post race. 

 

Post time for the Hollywood Gold Cup is 4:37 PT/7:37 ET.  It will be aired live on ESPN on Saturday night, with coverage running from 4:00 pm PT/7:00 pm ET-5:00 pm PT-8:00 pm ET.

 

HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP HANDICAP | PURSE: $500,000 | GRADE 1 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | 1 1/4 MILES

Post

Horse

Jockey

Weight

1

Twirling Candy

J. Rosario

122

2

Miss Match (ARG)

J. Talamo

110

3

Setsuko

V. Espinoza

115

4

Game On Dude

C. Sutherland

118

5

Awesome Gem

D. Flores

116

6

Soul Candy

G. Gomez

114

7

First Dude

M. Garcia

116

8

Dark Cove

R. Bejarano

115


Earlier on the card, WPT sends out the talented three-year-old son of Flatter, Runflatout in the $150,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) . Trained by John Sadler, Runflatout is coming off second place finishes in both the Lazero Barrerra Stakes and Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park. This colt certainly looks like an an up and coming star, and he could see action is some of the upper echelon three-year-old races this year with a solid performance on Saturday.

“He’s been training super,” said John Sadler. “He’s just a magnificent animal to watch. I think he will handle the added distance in here. Garrett (Gomez) is back aboard, and he is a master at getting horses to settle.”

“The future certainly looks bright for Runflatout,” said Terry Finley. “Coil could be tough to beat in here, but we are back for revenge. He’s learning how to settle in the early part of his races, which is a huge step forward in his development.  I know this horse’s Partners are pumped up and looking forward to Saturday. If he runs well we will take a look at the big races in the East this summer.”

SWAPS STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | GRADE 2 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | 1 1/8 MILES

Post

Horse

Jockey

Weight

1

Runflatout

G. Gomez

112

2

Spud Spivens

A. Quinonez

114

3

Coil

M. Garcia

118

4

Uncle Sam

R. Bejarano

114

5

Dreamy Kid

J. Talamo

114

6

Boxeur des Rues

J. Rosario

114


Post time for the Swaps is 2:34 PT/5:34 ET.

West Point also sends out Switzers Da Man and T J’s Passion on the undercard. Best of luck to these runners and their Partners!
We are excited about Runflatout and even got the Dish Network to watch him. The Dad of one of the partners is in our Loreto on the Plains Personal Care Home in Hartley, Texas which makes us part of the Runflatout "family". We are cheering for him asking blessing and safety for all the entries.
big day at Holly for you folks ... still think Awesome Gem way over his head, but best of luck ...
wow. what a run from awesome gem in that 2010 hollywood cup. i had never seen the race, he looked to fade. but the tug back to the rail and the surge to the wire was just amazing. truly special.
very disappointing afternoon!
As an owner we all know what the disappointing days feel like, its part of what makes the good days exciting. Maybe Gem can regain his confidence down the road against a softer crew. Those were tough horses for an 8 year old on very short rest to compete against. Hard to beat Baffert in the big ones also! Good Luck Gem, hope the rest of your career is a safe one.
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