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Awesome Gem To Bypass Breeders' Cup

October 17, 2011 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

ARCADIA, CALIF - After eight starts at eight different racetracks in 2011 and with two Grade 3 victories and a runner-up finish in the Grade I Goodwood Stakes last time out, our hard-knocking Awesome Gem will bypass the Breeders’ Cup World Championships this year.

Trainer Craig Dollase and West Point President Terry Finley met over the weekend to discuss options for the 8-year-old son of Awesome Again, who missed defeating Game On Dude by just half a length in the Goodwood on Oct. 8.

Awesome Gem has participated in the past four editions of the Breeders’ Cup - last year at Churchill Downs, twice at Santa Anita, and at Monmouth Park in 2007. He has earned $2.7 million with a 9-15-5 record from 47 starts.

“Awesome Gem's earned a break this season,” Dollase remarked. “He’s a game old contender who continues to live a healthy and happy life thanks to judicious placement, and we want to do the right thing by him. He came out of his last race with a very minor hind end issue that just needs some time on the farm to resolve."

Awesome Gem ran in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Mile, and the 2009 and 2007 editions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). He is the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. II) winner who also took the 2009 Hawthorne Gold Cup and the 2007 San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. II).

“He’s eight years old and he’s turned in a great campaign this season,” Finley said. “He’s in that in-between spot where he’s probably not good enough to compete against the horses in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but his optimum distance is a little further than mile, so we’re not keen to go to the other races like the Dirt Mile or the Marathon. He came out of the Goodwood with a very minor issue, and we see no reason to push to make the Breeders' Cup if he is not 100%. It's something that should be a non-issue with some time on the farm. I think there's a very good possibility we bring this horse back next year as a nine-year-old. He loves his job and has a strong desire to compete."

“He’ll get 60-90 days on the farm,” Dollase said. “We think we’re going to have a lot of success with him next year and he’s earned a well-deserved rest in the meantime.”

“If you took a map and marked all the places he’s run, you’d be amazed,” Finley remarked. “He’s an aptly-named treasure for our Partners and the West Point team.”
 
TVG Feature on Awesome Gem prior to his victory in the 2011 Longacres Mile (G3):

 

Below is a pdf version of his past performances from DRF:

Attached Files:

Congratulations to Awesome Gem for a wonderful racing season. What a guy. I saw him win the Hollywood Gold Cup with Rail Trip and have followed him closely ever since. He is amazing. Enjoy your well-deserved rest.
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