Awesome Gem Wins Hollywood Gold Cup (G1)
The word Awesome does not describe the feelings we felt on Saturday afternoon when our classy veteran campaigner Awesome Gem snuck through on the rail to capture the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1). Take a look below.
This horse has taken us all over the country and run in some of this sport's best races. Before Saturday, he had enjoyed great success on the racetrack, earning over $1.9 million and hitting the board in fourteen graded stakes races. But, he could never seem to win that elusive Grade 1 race. Now here we are with the Hollywood Gold Cup winner.
Jockey David Flores was a master craftsman on Saturday. We thought the pace would be fast. They ended up crawling. Our old man is normally much farther off the pace. In The Gold Cup, he was close up. He had a rail trip the entire way, and edged through down the lane to hold off favored Rail Trip. Thanks David, great ride.
We also want to thank trainer Craig Dollase for his years of hard work this horse. After the race, Craig said, "He is like fine wine, he gets better with age. He has been a tremendous horse for us over the years, and he deserves this win. I give a lot of credit to my team for keeping him sound over the years. He never stops trying and is so versatile."
David Flores said, "When that hole opened up, I couldn't look for any better spot than that. That was the most beautiful thing, when you have a horse that can accelerate like that at any time. I am thankful Craig (Dollase) and West Point have stuck with me. This is a great horse, he can run on anything."
Awesome Gem entered the Gold Cup race off a game second place finish in the Lone Star Park Handicap on May 31st. Earlier this year, he was second in both the $1,000,000 Charles Town Classic and New Orleans Handicap (gr. II).
In 2009, Awesome Gem captured the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), over a conventional dirt surface. Also in 2009, the chestnut son of Awesome Again was second in both the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. I) and Longacres Mile (gr. III), and third in the Berkley Handicap (gr. III).
His 2008 took West Point Thoroughbreds to the highest levels of racing, as he competed in the Breeders' Cup Mile and was invited to run in the Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse.
Awesome Gem has now hit the board in fifteen-graded stakes races, including five Grade I's, and won the San Fernando Stakes (gr. I) in 2007. He also finished second in both the Pacific Classic (G1) and the Goodwood (gr. I) in 2007. He culminated that year with a third place finish behind Curlin in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
His career earnings now stand at $2,274,682, making him West Point's all-time leading money earner.
There is a good chance we will see Awesome Gem back in action in the $1,000,000 Pacific Classic (gr. I) on August 28th at Del Mar. Perhaps we will see him in his fourth straight Breeders' Cup this fall?
Thanks for the thrills Gemster.
Visit the links below to read more about Awesome Gem's win: