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Awesome Gem Wins Longacres Mile

August 22, 2011 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

Awesome Gem returned to his winning ways and boosted his earnings to $2,688,270 when he took the $200,000 Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III) by a solid 1 ½-length margin Sunday at Emerald Downs.

 
The richest horse ever to race in Washington, our 8-year-old son of Awesome Again was sent off as the 8-5 favorite and ran like one, launching his bid from sixth as the field of 11 turned for home. He overcame an outside post and a wide trip on both turns under regular rider David Flores to turn in the kind of effort we love over 2010 Longacres Mile winner Noosa Beach.

In 2009, Awesome Gem ran second behind Assessment in the Longacres Mile. This year, making his seventh start at a seventh different track for trainer Craig Dollase and making his first start at one mile on the dirt since then, he completed the race in 1:34.80.      
 

 
 
“Awesome Gem is a phenomenal old campaigner with throwback heart and style,” Terry Finley said. “To see him maintain winning ways at his age is a testament to Craig’s training abilities and a real feather in the cap of the West Point team. The beauty of horse racing is the fact that there is a finish line. We are all there for one reason, to get to the wire first, and that’s something this horse loves to do. He has a special place in all of our hearts and has taken his Partners on a journey of a lifetime.”

“You’ve gotta love him,” said winning trainer Craig Dollase. “What he’s done is amazing. He has no idea that he’s eight-years-old, and really loves his job. This is a very special horse.”
 
Partner Scott Cadwallader of California posted on his Facebook wall after the race:

"An amazing day with Awesome Gem winning the Longacres Mile (G3)! The longer he completes at this level, the more I'm learning to appreciate what a truly special horse he is, and how blessed I've been to be one of the partners who own this incredible animal. He continues to take us on the ride of a lifetime and provides one thrill after another."

Awesome Gem has now started 46 times in his career under the West Point black and gold, with nine wins, 14 seconds, and five thirds. He has finished in the top three in 18 graded races, taking his partners on a wonderful ride.
 
AWESOME Gem! Great ride David. PLEASE retire him before he is injured or worse. Hasen't he done enough? He has EARNED retirement.
Thanks for your thoughts Cher. Gem is as competitive as horses come and he enjoys being a racehorse. Craig is very attuned to this horse and has always taken excellent care of him. This is a big reason why the horse is thriving at age 8 and is happy and healthy. Gem will tell us when he wants or needs a rest. It is our job to put our horses in the best spots where they can win for their partners, but never at the expense of the health or well being of the horse.
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