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Awesome Gem Aims to Push Career Earnings Past $2.8 Million in Goodwood

September 29, 2011 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

ARCADIA, CALIF - A decision to stick close to home will keep our old campaigner Awesome Gem in California this weekend as he joins a field of nine this Saturday in the $250,000 Goodwood Stakes (G1).

Fresh off a victory in the Aug. 21 Longacres Mile, our 8-year-old gelding takes on the likes of Game On Dude, Coil, and Miss Match in this 1 ⅛-mile race over the Santa Anita dirt. The Grade I event is a definite step up in company again, but after traveling to seven different tracks this year, trainer Craig Dollase felt it best to make the next start in his own backyard. A trip to the Hawthorne Gold cup had been considered earlier in the week.

“We know this horse has a tendency to tail off toward the end of the season, and keeping him at Santa Anita will probably take a little less out of him than sending him to Chicago would,” Craig remarked. “He’s obviously a great shipper or he wouldn’t have all those frequent flyer miles, but all things considered this seemed like a more judicious spot. We’d like to keep him in a low-key routine to keep him as fresh as possible.”

The aptly-named chestnut son of Awesome Again has won nine races, including the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup, and has finished in the top three in 17 graded events en route to earnings of more than $2.6 million from 46 starts on 17 different surfaces.  

“At this stage in his career, it’s important to spot him wisely,” Terry said. “We want to remain extremely realistic with this horse and be as good to him as he’s been to us. We get a nice break in the weights and I think our runner is as good as any other one in the field. We already beat Game on Dude this year and he’s coming off a fourth-place finish in the Pacific Classic. Coil is certainly talented as well and if he runs his race he could be tough, but he turned in a dismal performance in the Travers last time out, and asking a sophomore to take on the big boys is always tall order.”

Awesome Gem worked six furlongs in 1.13:40 (5 of 19) on Sunday at Hollywood Park in what Craig called “A nice, easy tune-up.” He’ll take the short van ride over to Santa Anita on the morning of the race.

“He’s happy, healthy, and doing what he loves,” Terry remarked. “I wish all of our runners were as consistent and hard-trying as Awesome Gem.”

The Goodwood Stakes is race seven on an 11-race program, with an approximate post time of 4:07 p.m. Pacific. Awesome Gem drew post seven and will carry 119 pounds under regular rider David Flores.
Wasn't he entered in a grade 3 somewhere on your upcoming races page? Does he really belong with this company anymore? guy is 8 , soon to be 9, no ? hoping he gets enough money for Breeders Cup entry ?
what a polite response she gave you... what she meant to say... is that clearly you don't follow the stable and you haven't seen him race. if you would and did... you would have expected that late strong close... and known that if that race ran another furlong... the "guy" would have come home first. the horse will tell you when he's had enough... and i sincerely hope he gets the benefit of the doubt and earns the start on stats and heart... rather than the view of someone like you that can't see past the pink sheet. i hope you laid the w/p/s john.
Hi John. Thanks for following the stable. The Hawthorne Gold Cup (G3) was in our original plans for Awesome Gem. However, we opted to run in his own backyard. This horse is sound and happy, and given us no indication that he is slowing down due to age. If you take a look at the probables for both races, the Goodwood is not going to be much tougher than the Grade 3 race at Hawthorne. We will only consider the Breeders' Cup if he runs well and comes out of this race in tip top shape. In years past we've given him so turnout time over the winter to recharge his batteries.
What happened with Grip Hands? He was such a good looking 2 year old. Guess this is why many have quit buying at training sales.
Gemmy is Awesome. A great campaigner, consummate professional and seasoned commuter with enough frequent flier miles to winter in the South Pacific if he wants to. Saw him live up here in the Longacres Mile. He never ceases to amaze.
What a GREAT race by Gemmy in the Goodwood. Proving that he belongs and even at 8 he looks to be running some of his best races. A horse thats knows what to do and loves every minute of it. Congrats to all the partners!
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