Awesome Gem runs third in BC Classic(G1)
A lot can be said about Awesome Gem, and after Saturday, two more credentials can be added to his resume, third in the $5,000,000 Breeders' Cup Classic(G1) and millionaire earner. Running over a quagmire of a Monmouth strip that trended toward speed all day, Awesome Gem fought the bias to rally past Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense in the stretch to finish third. Awesome Gem was taken back by jockey David Flores early in the race. He was unhurried through the first seven-furlongs before commencing a rally midway down the backstretch. Awesome Gem began picking off horses into the turn before swinging out at the head of the lane to continue his rally. Awesome Gem ran down Street Sense inside the sixteenth pole to capture third.
Trainer Craig Dollase said, "I am ecstatic. The track was a mess, and that's a hard surface for closers to rally on. I thought he ran great. This was one of the deepest fields in recent years. With so many quality horses we proved that we are right there with the best of them. What's even better is the fact that next year's Breeders' Cup is at Santa Anita. That's like a home game for us, and we know he loves the surface. If all goes well, we'll be back next year, and we'll be out to improve our position."
Jockey David Flores said, "The track was like a big swimming pool. A lot of horses were having trouble with it. My horse just tries so hard. I love him. This track wasn't set up for his best run, but he ran great. He is one of the best horses in the country."
West Point Thoroughbreds President Terry Finley said, "I cannot give enough credit to Craig Dollase and his team. They have believed in Awesome Gem all along, he's done a great job keeping Awesome Gem in peak form. The Classic is the richest race in North America, and you have to be a very talented horse to run well in such a spot. Awesome Gem proved that he is a very talented horse. We are thrilled that he sports the black and gold silks."
A four-year-old some of Awesome Again, Awesome Gem now sports a record of four wins, seven seconds, and one third from fifteen career starts. His career earnings now exceed $1.1 million.