Awesome Gem Wins Season Debut in Handy Fashion
Awesome Gem is at it again. Our 9-year-old contender made his season debut a winning one Thursday when he returned to the races in a Golden Gate allowance. His bankroll now stands at over $2.76 million.
Jockey Russell Baze took the Gem back to his typical stalking spot, fourth as pacesetter Positive Response led the field through early fractions of 23.79 and 47.57. The chestnut gelding made his move in the two path on the second turn, got through inside Honor The Deputy in upper stretch, and ran past Positive Response on the outside once clear to quickly take command at the furlong pole. The winning margin was half a length in a final time of 1:38.75 for the mile.
“What a horse,” trainer Craig Dollase said. “Russell gave him an excellent ride; just enough to bring him back and get us on track for the upcoming season, not too much for his first time out for the year.”
“Awesome horse, awesome experience,” West Point Thoroughbreds founder and president Terry Finley said. “I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it again – we’re incredibly fortunate to have this kind of a runner bearing the black and gold. He’s provided his Partners with so many thrills. Horses like this are why all of us get into this game.”
The short-term goal for Awesome Gem is a start in the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (G2) going 1 1/16 miles on all weather track on Saturday, May 5th at Hollywood. The WPT team and Craig will sit down in short order and map out a gameplan for the rest of the year for this hard-knocking veteran.
Congratulations to his Partners!