Facebook Connect

News & Blog


Awesome Gem Could Reach $3 Million in Saturday's Cornhusker

June 30, 2012 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

He’s 9-years-old and sure doesn’t know it. He’s run in 40 different stakes race at 15 different tracks. He demands carrots and is a barn favorite. He’s tough as nails, and on Saturday could reach the $3 million dollar mark in earnings.

He is Awesome Gem, WPT’s veteran campaigner who headed to Iowa to compete in the $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap (G3), the highlight of the state’s biggest day of racing.

Jockey David Flores reunites with Awesome Gem for the first time since a second place finish in the Grade 1 Goodwood in the fall. Both of Gem’s 2012 victories have come at Golden Gate Fields, the first in an allowance race in April, and the second via disqualification in the Berkeley Handicap (G3) on May 28.

WPT President Terry Finley and the Partners are heading into Saturday’s race with confidence. “Awesome Gem ran a good second in this race last year, and the conventional dirt is his favorite surface, said Finley. “He’s a sound, happy horse, and if he runs well in Iowa on Saturday, we’d love to head back to Emerald Downs in Washington to reclaim out title in the Longacres Mile. I’d like to thank all the Partners for their support over the years. It’s been a fun ride to say the least.”

“My Hollywood barn feels empty without Gem,” laughed trainer Craig Dollase. “In typical fashion he’s been a handful in the mornings, bouncing on and off the racetrack. He had a bullet six-furlong work on Julne 21, and I’m looking forward to getting him back on dirt.”

The Cornhusker, the ninth race on the card, follows renewals of the Iowa Oaks and Iowa Derby. It has a scheduled post time of 10:11 p.m. Central. Awesome Gem breaks from post five.

Awesome Gem has a record of 11-15-5 from 50 career starts and earnings over $2.82 million, making him the richest active racehorse in training. His most notable victory came in the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1). Click here to view his accomplishments.


Gem at Hollywood Park over the weekend: