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Rafael Bejarano celebrates aboard Game On Dude after the 2012 Awesome Again Stakes
Part 2 - Zenyatta, Rodeo Drive, and Unzip Me Stakes
Not counting Breeders' Cup, the highlight race of the Santa Anita fall meeting is the $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes (G1), formerly known as the Goodwood, featuring the best older horses of the west coast going 1 1/8 miles on the main track, and is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Classic. 17,565 fans came to the Arcadia oval on Saturday afternoon under sunny skies and temperatures in the 90's. As expected, Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) winner Game On Dude was sent off as the 3-10 favorite in the field of 9 off his close second in the Pacific Classic (G1) last out. In to challenge him included 6-1 second choice Richard's Kid, third in the Pacific Classic after winning the Cougar II (G3), and 10-1 third choice Nonios off his fifth place finish in the Travers (G1).
Game On Dude leads down the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Game On Dude Bejarano 2.60 2.20 2.10 3 Nonios Pedroza 4.80 3.00 7 Richard's Kid Gomez 2.80 Winning Time: 1:48.98 $1 Exacta 1-3 5.70 $1 Trifecta 1-3-7 18.80 $1 Superfecta 1-3-7-9 47.40Results Chart
Left: Game On Dude in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "The break was really important for him. Sometimes he wants to get a little edgy in the gate, but he broke really well. Plan A was if he breaks well, don't move on him. We knew the 2 horse was going to want to go to the lead. He found a seam right away and got him to the outside. They slowed it down, so he just sat there and waited, then asked him to run in the stretch. It was the prep that you want for a horse like this. This horse is just getting better and better, and when he gets on dirt, he's a different horse."
Right: Game On Dude returns after the race. Jockey Rafael Bejarano said, "I knew (Winning Machine) was going to send. My horse broke so fast from the gate that I let the other horse send a little bit to make sure I could hold my horse and put him in better position. After that the race was done because he was much the best horse in the race."
Left: Second place finisher Nonios in the paddock before the race. Jockey Martin Pedroza said, "He ran excellent. He did everything right today. He responded well, he broke well and he ran a great race. He did everything we asked; we just ran against one of the best horses you'll see. But we are very pleased with the way he ran and very happy with the result."
Right: Third place finisher Richard's Kid in the paddock before the race. Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill said, "The race was perfect for us. All day long we knew that the horses have been finishing one, two, and three. Nobody has come from off the pace. Our horse was last the whole way and then made up ground to finish third. It looks like we're going to be fine when the big races come over because we're going to change the horses to train here. They were training at Hollywood Park before this."
Executiveprivilege wins the Chandelier Stakes (G1)
Jockey Rafael Bejarano sent Executiveprivilege to the lead first time by and she set fractions of 23.91, 48.41, and 1:13.45 while pressed by 15-1 Miss Empire to her outside. Entering the lane, Bejarano asked the favorite for run as Executiveprivilege left the field in her wake, passing the post 6 1/4 lengths in front of late-running Scarlet Strike in 1:44.95. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Miss Empire third.
Left: Executiveprivilege in the winner's circle. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "If she breaks well, going long, I said don't give her a lot to do. She's fast. She ran like she was working. She's very special. We've just got to keep her healthy. You need a lot of horse and a little luck (to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies). You need all that, but she's special. You could tell the way she sprinted for home she was in control so it worked out right." Owner Mike Pegram added, "She's done everything right and she's just so classy. She's our Looking At Lucky without (male equipment)."
Right: Executiveprivilege returns after the race. Jockey Rafael Bejarano said, "She impressed me today. When I saw a lot of scratches in the race, especially the speed, I had no choice but to send her. She brought me to the lead easy and I was concerned a little bit, but after the first turn I knew I had so much horse. She was so relaxed. I think after this race she'll be ready for the Breeders' Cup. She's going to be tough."
Left: Second place finisher Scarlet Strike in the paddock before the race. Jockey Joe Talamo said, "She ran an unbelievable race. For just breaking her maiden and coming into a Grade 1 like that, Jerry (Hollendorfer) did a great job getting her to this race. There's no doubt that she ran second to the best two-year-old filly in the country. That was an unbelievable effort by the winner. I was very impressed with my horse. I wish we would have had a little bit more pace, but that happens sometimes – she really ran a dynamite race."
Right: Third place finisher Miss Empire in the post parade. The 15-1 shot pressed the pace under jockey Martin Pedroza but tired late, finishing third beaten 8 lengths. The Peter Miller trainee improved her record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 4 thirds in 7 starts, earning $147,120 for owners Gary Barber, Cecil Barber, and Kevin Tsujihara.
Power Broker wins the FrontRunner Stakes (G1)
Carving and Know More battled for the lead through fractions of 23.19, 47.53, and 1:12.45 while stalked by Power Broker in third. Entering the stretch, Power Broker came out wide to pass the pacesetters, then drew off to win by 6 1/2 lengths over Know More in 1:44.44. It was just 1/2 a length back to late-running 6-1 fourth choice Capo Bastone.
Left: Power Broker in the winner's circle. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "I was really high on this horse before we went to Del Mar. I thought he was a top horse. He let me down when he ran down there, and I was a little disappointed. Then he came back and he didn't work that well. Then he worked really well the other day. I was thinking of putting him on the grass. After that last race, I switched him up. It worked out. It's too early (to think about the Kentucky Derby).
Right: Power Broker returns after the race. Jockey Rafael Bejarano said, "This horse has turned out really good. I'm surprised with the way he ran today, he was amazing. It was the first time he ran on this track at this distance and it looked like he loved this track. It's important to be on the lead right now, and it was easy to find early position right away."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Know More in the post parade. Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O'Neill said, "We are very, very pleased. First time in dirt. He ran a very good second. He has not stepped foot on dirt. We've been training on synthetic, so the plans are to train here on dirt and be ready for the Breeders' Cup." Jockey Garrett Gomez added, "He did everything perfect. It was the first time doing two turns. First time really being on dirt. He handled everything really well. I have to tell you the Baffert horse was just better today. We'll have to go for round two."
Right: Third place finisher Capo Bastone in the paddock. The 6-1 fourth choice was last for the first 5/8 mile under jockey Victor Espinoza, then closed late to get third beaten 7 lengths. The John Sadler trainee improved his record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 3 starts, earning $90,000 for owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
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