Game On Dude heads seven for 76th Gold Cup


The Sports Network

Arcadia, CA ( - Defending two-time winner Game On Dude is one of seven older racehorses entered for Saturday's $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita.

The 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup, formerly the Hollywood Gold Cup, is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race, which gives the winner a guaranteed spot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude will start from the inside post on Santa Anita's dirt main track with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith again riding. The defending race winner is the 4-5 morning line favorite.

Last year, Game On Dude successfully defended his 2012 Gold Cup victory in front-running fashion, posting a length win over Kettle Corn with Smith in the saddle.

The gelding, co-owned by Joe Torre, won the 2012 renewal with Chantal Sutherland riding.

This season, the 7-year-old gelding began with a fifth-place finish in the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita followed by a second straight win in the Santa Anita Handicap. Game on Dude was second to Imperative in the Charles Town Classic his last time out.

Game On Dude has posted wins in half of his 32 career starts for $6,408,893.

Owned by KM Racing Enterprise Inc., Imperative will start from post four with Kent Desormeaux making his fourth straight ride on the 4-year-old gelding.

The Charles Town Classic victory on April 19 was his first in a stakes and worth $1 million. It was good enough to have him as the 4-1 second choice for Saturday.

"We just gave him some time off and got him ready for the Gold Cup," explained Imperative's trainer, George Papaprodromou. "Hopefully there will be pace in the race with Game On Dude and Fury Kapcori to make things easier for us. But he's already exceeded our expectations, winning a million dollar race after we claimed him for $50,000."

Imperative was second to Blingo in the San Antonio at 26-1, but finished seventh as a 35-1 longshot in the Santa Anita Handicap. The 4-year-old has banked $1,134,620 with three wins in 15 career starts.

The speedy Fury Kapcori has drawn post two in the seven-horse field with Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens getting a chance to ride the 4-year-old. The colt is 9-2 in the program along with Clubhouse Ride.

Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, Fury Kapcori was second to Clubhouse Ride as the 1-2 favorite in Santa Anita's Californian on May 31. This year the colt has four wins in five starts, including the Santana Mile and Precisionist Stakes. He's been favored his last five starts.

Fury Kapcori has banked $519,880 with six wins and five seconds from 15 career starts.

From the rail out, here is the field for the Gold Cup: Game On Dude, Mike Smith, 4-5; Fury Kapcori, Gary Stevens, 9-2; Clubhouse Ride, Joe Talamo, 9-2; Imperative, Kent Desormeaux, 4-1; Salto Del Indio, Brice Blanc, 8-1; Majestic Harbor, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Lideris, Juan Enriquez, 20-1.

Post time for the 76th Gold Cup will be approximately 7:30 p.m. ET.

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