West Point Thoroughbreds Sending Duo To Breeders' Cup
West Point Thoroughbreds is looking forward to a big day on November 7 in southern California, when we send two of our most notable west coast campaigners to the World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita Park. The salty veteran Awesome Gem is slated to run in $5,000,000 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and the versatile El Gato Malo will start in the $1,000,000 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
Both horses have been training superbly for Craig Dollase and are primed for big efforts. Awesome Gem, a six-year-old son of Awesome Again most recently won the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) on October 3. This year, he was runner up in the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. I) as well as the Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III). Amongst his other major accomplishments include wins in the San Fernando (gr. II), second place finishes in the Pacific Classic (gr. I), San Diego (gr. II), and Goodwood (gr. II). In 2007, he was third in the Breeders' Cup Classic behind eventual Horse of the Year, Curlin. Awesome Gem is 6-11-3 from 30 career starts and has earnings of nearly $1.7 million.
Awesome Gem has won over conventional dirt surfaces, turf, and artificial surfaces. He is a versatile campaigner that always runs hard. Trainer Craig Dollase says, "This is his third consecutive Breedrers' Cup. He is sound and honest. I have been very pleased with how he is training and think he will run extremely well in the Classic."
West Point Thoroughbreds' founder and president Terry Finley is very high on Awesome Gem. "He always tries hard. He's knocked on the door in so many big races. Hopefully his last win (Hawthorne Gold Cup) gave him some confidence. "
El Gato Malo, also known as "The Bad Cat" has established himself as a top horse out west. The four-year-old El Corredor gelding most recently won a tough Del Mar turf allowance after a freshening this summer. His biggest win came in the 2008 Lone Star Derby (gr. III). Other stakes accomplishments include wins in the San Rafael (gr. III), Gold Rush, and McCann's Mojave, second in the Sham (gr. III) and third in the Sir Beaufort. El Gato Malo is 6-1-1 from 13 career starts and has earnings of over $530,000.
"He has been training very forwardly since his last race," said trainer Craig Dollase. "The race at Del Mar showed he has a tremendous turn of foot on the turf. I think he is sitting on a big effort."
"El Gato Malo has been such a fun horse for West Point Thoroughbreds," said Terry Finley. He has won some good races and we think he is ready to take his career to the next level. He is tractable and catty on the track. We couldn't be happier to have these two horses in the Super Bowl of horse racing."
Both races will be televised live on November 7. The Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint will be televised on ABC. Post time is set for 2:23 EDT. Later in the day, the Breeders' Cup Classic will be shown on ESPN, with post time of 6:45 EDT.