Mike Smith guides Mucho Macho Man to victory in the Suburban HcapPICTURE: Equisport
Dude beats Kid for Baffert at Hollywood
Report: USA, Saturday
Hollywood Park: Hollywood Gold Cup (Grade 1 hcap) 1m2f, AW, 3yo+
TRAINER Bob Baffert completed a Hollywood Gold Cup one-two for the second year in a row as Game On Dude (Chantal Sutherland) held off the challenge of stablemate Richard's Kid.
Sutherland, the first female jockey to win Hollywood Park's signature event, was setting the record straight after Game On Dude was touched off by First Dude in the 2011 running.
Although the five-year-old, runner-up in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, was conceding a fair amount of weight all round to six rivals in Saturday's contest, he was nevertheless sent off 2-5 favourite.
He settled just off the pace set by longshot Spud Spivens before taking control at halfway and pushing three lengths clear in the stretch, when dual Pacific Classic winner Richard's Kid began his rally.
Game On Dude willingly kept up the gallop and scored by a length and a half to record his third Grade 1 victory.
"He loves Santa Anita and the Breeders' Cup has been our goal," said Baffert, who has won the Gold Cup four times altogether. "Richard's Kid will run next in the Pacific Classic.
"They had to run one-two," added the trainer. "They're two really good horses. That longshot made them go pretty brisk. Game On Dude was getting a little tired, but he needs the competition."
Also on Saturday
Belmont Park: Suburban Hcap (Grade 2) 1m1f, dirt, 3yo+
Jockey Mike Smith, who has just as many critics as supporters, flew across the country to partner last year's Kentucky Derby third Mucho Macho Man (Kathy Ritvo) and proceeded to partner the four-year-old to an impressive victory over a high-class field of older horses.
Smith, successful in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic on Drosselmeyer, has found himself a live chance in this year's race after Mucho Macho Man swamped his rivals for a two-and-a-half-length victory over the late-running Hymn Book, who ran past tiring rivals in the stretch to claim second.
The winner, nearly a 6-1 shot, stopped the clock in a quick 1min 46.58sec. He has now won three of his four starts this term.
Monmouth Park: United Nations Stakes (Grade 1) 1m3f, turf, 3yo+
Ridden by ‘Jersey Joe' Bravo, calculating the fractions to a nicety, Turbo Compressor (Todd Pletcher) made the most of an easy lead for a 5-2 victory by a length and three-quarters in this $500,000 contest.
Former British-trained Slim Shadey was made favourite after some fine efforts in California but could never get involved before finishing fifth.
Monmouth Park: Monmouth Cup (Grade 2) 1m, dirt, 3yo+
The Todd Pletcher/Joe Bravo partnership, later successful with Turbo Compressor in the main event, initiated a big graded-stakes double as the five-year-old Rule made a winning seasonal debut.
Calder: Princess Rooney Hcap (Grade 1) 6f, dirt, 3yo+ f/m
Eclipse Award-winning female sprinter Musical Romance (Bill Kaplan/Juan Leyva) dug in for a game success, holding off a strong challenge from Nicole H for a half-length victory in the highlight of the ‘Summit of Speed' card.
Calder: Smile Sprint (Grade 2 hcap) 6f, dirt, 3yo+
In the absence of three-year-old Trinniberg, who ran elsewhere on the card, Gantry (Ron Faucheux/Richard Eramia) produced a dominant performance, defying top weight and an outside gate before winning by five lengths in 1min 10.52sec.
The five-year-old had finished third to a pair of top-notchers in Shackleford and Amazombie on his previous outing at Churchill Downs in a 7f event; at this 6f, he is now unbeaten in six tries. The Breeders' Cup Sprint is on the agenda.
Calder: Carry Back Stakes (Grade 2) 6f, dirt, 3yo
Trinniberg, unfavoured by the weights in the Smile Sprint, stayed with his own age group instead and was duly sent off 1-5 favourite - only to get chinned by stalker Fort Loudon (Stanley Gold/Fernando Jara), who tracked him throughout before scoring by a neck.
Hollywood Park: Royal Heroine Mile Stakes (Grade 2) 1m, turf, 3yo+ f/m
Trained as a two-year-old in Britain in 2010 by Brian Meehan, Quiet Oasis (Ben Cecil/Mario Gutierrez) got up on the line to beat outsider Mega Dream by a head.