Awesome Gem nosed in Grade 1 Goodwood
Awesome Gem once again showed his tremendous determination and ability in falling a whisker short in the $500,000 Goodwood Stakes(G1) at Santa Anita. Awesome Gem broke well and settled three wide into the second flight early. Awesome Gem sat fifth through a half-mile that went in 46.1 and six-furlongs in 1:10 flat. Awesome Gem launched a strong move on the turn but was pushed out slightly by eventual winner Tiago. Awesome Gem and Tiago then engaged in a stirring stretch long duel. With Tiago getting first run on Awesome Gem, Awesome Gem continued to grind away at Tiago's advantage. Awesome Gem continued to surge late, but he fell a hair's breath short of victory at the wire."
Jockey David Flores said, "I cannot say enough how much I like this horse. I tried to keep Tiago trapped down inside, but that horse is huge. He carried me out and ended up getting inside us in the turn. We were in a great position, and I wanted to attack when he went and not let him get away. That might have been the difference, but we both ran a great race. My horse never quit trying though. He will run all day, and he clearly wants to go a mile and a quarter. When he catches the breaks he's going to be tough to beat."
Trainer Craig Dollase said, "How can you not love this horse? You can throw him on any track and he runs his race. One of these days we're going to be the one that gets a close decision like this. You get in the sport to run in races like this, but we've got one more race out there in late October at Monmouth that we'd sure like to capture. With the six points he earned today he basically ensured himself a spot in the Breeders' Cup Classic. A win there would make up for a few of these tough losses."
The Goodwood effort affirmed that Awesome Gem is one of the top handicap horses in the country. Awesome Gem will now point for the $5,000,000 Breeders' Cup Classic(G1) on October 27th at Monmouth Park.
A four-year-old son of Awesome Again, Awesome Gem has earned four wins and seven runner-up finishes in 14 career starts. He improved his earnings to a remarkable $630,631.