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