Sunday, 8 July 2012
Chantal Sutherland has become the first female jockey to win the Hollywood Gold Cup, steering Game On Dude to victory in the 73-year-old race.
Game On Dude beat Richard's Kid by 1-1/2 lengths to give Sutherland and Game On Dude victory in race they lost by a nose a year ago.
"It's pretty cool," Sutherland said about becoming the first female winner.
"I hope I'm one of many more to come."
Trainer Bob Baffert trained the quinella for the second straight year with Game On Dude and Richard's Kid. In 2011, First Dude held off Game On Dude.
Baffert heard the track announcer mention in the late stages of the race that Sutherland could become the first female jockey to win the Gold Cup, a race first run in 1938 when Seabiscuit won.
"I sort of got goose bumps," he said. "I was sort of like, 'Oh, I hope that's not a kiss of death.' I told my wife, 'Uh oh, here comes Richard's Kid.'"
But Game On Dude held on to guarantee himself a spot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November, a race he and Sutherland lost to Drosselmeyer and her ex-fiance, Mike Smith, last fall.
The victory was Game On Dude's third in a Grade One race in the past 16 months.
Baffert said Richard's Kid would be pointed toward the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on August 26.
Game On Dude is also headed to Del Mar, but will only run in that race if he adapts to the track's synthetic surface, which has bothered him in the past.
Baffert, who suffered a heart attack in Dubai n March, said he was fit and healthy.
"I feel good, really good, especially when those horses run one-two like that you feel a lot better," he said.
"It was such a scare. I still watch what I do. I work out religiously every morning."
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