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January 14, 2007 · By · Share <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

West Point Thoroughbred's Awesome Gem stamped himself as one of the top older horses in the country by winning the Grade 2, $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes on January 13th at Santa Anita Park by a nose.


Trainer Craig Dollase said, "To see the development in this horse that we have over the past year is remarkable, and I am not sure we have seen the best of Awesome Gem yet.  This horse is only going to be better at a mile and an eighth and a mile and a quarter. He's bred for this.  We faced some top class horses today and proved to be of equal measure to them. The horse came back beautifully after the race.  He cooled out quickly, and he attacked his feed tub. He was tearing up the barn when we got him back."


Tyler Baze said, "I knew I had a lot of horse. He lengthened his stride when I asked him, and it was just a matter of whether we had enough real estate. Fortunately, we had just enough ground. I still had a ton of horse under me. He feels like he'll only get better when he goes longer. He wants to go all day."


West Point Thoroughbreds President Terry Finley said, "This is an immensely talented horse. You get into this game looking for the special horse, and there's no doubt that Awesome Gem is that.  We saw some flashes of brilliance early, but he was really immature. We gave him time, and when you do the right thing by a horse they'll reward you. If Awesome Gem stays sound, we'd love to plot out a course to the Breeders' Cup Classic(G1) for him.  He should only get better as we stretch him out."


Awesome Gem's career record now stands a three wins and three seconds from seven career starts. The $120,000 winner's share of today's purse pushes Awesome Gem's career earnings to $218,960.

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