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September 29, 2006 · By · Share

Awesome Gem finally had things break his way as he stormed to victory in the maiden special weight on September 29th at Santa Anita. Breaking from post three, Awesome Gem got away alertly and actually showed tactical speed tugging his way up into early contention.  However, Awesome Gem actually ended up getting pinned inside and shuffled back to sixth in the field of seven after a quarter-mile.  The field was tightly bunched heading down the backstretch, and Awesome Gem did move up into third after a half-mile, but as Trevor Denman would say he was "crying out for racing room".  Just before the field headed into the turn, David Flores got a seam, and he pushed Awesome Gem into it to range up outside the eventual runner-up.  The top pair were on nearly even terms through the turn, but when Flores shook up Awesome Gem at the top of the stretch he kicked in and began edging away.  However, once Awesome Gem made the lead he began waiting around for other horses, so Flores hit Awesome Gem right handed and Awesome Gem ducked in, but we were clear by that point.  Awesome Gem straightened back up and held on to win by a length.

Craig Dollase said, "This could be a special type horse.  He's so versatile.  He can run on either surface, he can run middle distance, and he can go longer.  That's going to give us a world of options.  We were so unlucky in his last couple races.  We've put together three straight winning efforts, so it's nice to finally get our picture taken.  As good as he's been you can see that he still has room to improve.  He trained better than he ever has for this race.  He'll still play around on you, but he's competitive.  He doesn't like to have horses outfinish him.  We will have fun and go a lot of places if he keeps moving forward."

David Flores said, "I absolutely love this horse.  I didn't think anyone would outfinish me if I got clear on the outside.  We got bumped around a little bit early, but he kept his head right in it.  When I got clear in the stretch he started goofing off on me.  He was just waiting for horses, so I tried to get his attention and he came in on me.  I had a ton of horse left though.  I just had to keep him going straight."

Awesome Gem earned $25,200 for his effort bringing his career total to $49,700.

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