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STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN
• CLASSY GAME ON DUDE: A NICE HORSE THAT FINISHES FIRST
• STEVENS ON SLIM SHADEY IN SAN MARCOS NEXT SATURDAY
• SENIORS MAKE THEIR MARK IN SUPER BOWL HANDICAP
WHEN IT COMES TO RACING, GAME ON DUDE ON THE ‘A TEAM’
Game On Dude is Mr. T on the race track, Mr. Rogers off.
With 10 wins from 22 starts, the durable 6-year-old gelding has won more than 45 percent of his races and is a prohibitive 1-5 morning line favorite to add No. 11 when he goes postward in Sunday’s Grade II, 200,000 San Antonio Stakes, a major steppingstone to the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 2.
A win machine on the track, Game On Dude is a relative pussycat at the barn.
“Game On Dude is really sweet,” said Bob Baffert, who has conditioned the son of Awesome Again since just after the Florida Derby in March of 2010.
“He’s a really gentle horse,” Baffert added. “Kids can come up and pet him. He’s always been a gelding since I’ve had him, so I don’t know if that has something to do with it.” Whatever it was, it transformed Game On Dude.
“Matter of fact, last year I ran into the guy who trained him before (Michael Mareina), and he was telling me that until Game On Dude was castrated, he wasn’t really showing a whole lot (on the track),” Baffert said.
“But now, he’s a very quiet horse.”
At 1-5 in the San Antonio, it seems Game On Dude would pity the fool who would challenge him.
In other San Antonio news:
Craig Lewis has two rooting interests on Sunday: the 49ers and Clubhouse Ride, not necessarily in that order.
Lewis, who trains 9-2 morning line chance Clubhouse Ride in the San Antonio, attended UC Berkeley, “a block away from 49ers” which led Lewis to become a fan. “He’s a good horse,” Lewis said of the 5-year-old Candy Ride horse, earner of more than $429,000 in a 24-race career.
“The 49ers are a great team and they’re playing a good team,” added Lewis, who saddled Raisin’ Cain to a $23 upset in Friday’s eighth race. “To get to the super Bowl, you have to be good. I’ll be watching at home.”
The San Antonio field: Clubhouse Ride, Aaron Gryder, 9-2; Game On Dude, Mike Smith, 1-5; Make Music for Me, Martin Garcia, 10-1; Chosen Miracle, Joe Talamo, 4-1; and Basmati, Mario Gutierrez, 8-1. Super Bowl Sunday is Dollar Day for Thoroughbreds members. General admission is only a buck for all Thoroughbreds members.
First post time is 11 a.m. Gates open at 9 a.m.
STEVENS TO RIDE SLIM SHADEY IN GRADE II SAN MARCOS
Slim Shadey, prepping for next Saturday’s Grade II San Marcos Stakes at 1 ¼ miles on turf, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track today in 1:01 under Gary Stevens, who rides the English-bred son of Val Royal in the San Marcos.
“He went well,” said Simon Callaghan, who also sent Robert J. Frankel winner Qaraaba four furlongs in 48.80. “The San Gabriel just didn’t set up well for him,” the trainer added, explaining the gelding’s sixth-place finish as the 3-2 favorite.
Garrett Gomez, who rode Slim Shadey in the San Gabriel, rides All Squared Away for Peter Miller in the San Marcos.
Richard’s Kid also worked Saturday for the San Marcos, going six furlongs in company with Russdiculous for Doug O’Neill. Richard’s Kid, ridden by Kevin Krigger, was clocked in 1:12.40, while Russdiculous was given 1:14.60.
OLD TIMERS ENTERED IN SUNDAY’S SUPER BOWL HANDICAP
There are two Thoroughbred senior citizens with a combined age of 20 entered in Sunday’s Super Bowl Party Starter Handicap, but they won’t be needing walkers to negotiate the one mile on turf.
Green Secret, a 9-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song, runs in the first division, dubbed the San Francisco Division, while Porfido, an 11-year-old full horse, goes in the second leg, the Baltimore Division. Green Secret is a gray gelding trained by Jim Cassidy with 18 wins from 41 starts. Porfido, a Chilean-bred trained by Eoin Harty, has 14 wins from 60 starts. Between them they have raced 101 times, winning 32.
“I had the horse all summer during Del Mar and the fall meet here,” Cassidy said. “He’s a nice horse, just a class act, tries every time. I ran him three times and got a third, a second and a win.
“Then I shipped him back to Arizona to the Eikleberrys (Kevin was his previous trainer at Turf Paradise) because there really wasn’t anything here for him during Hollywood, and a mile is about his limit.
“I found this spot and they sent him back and he’s been here about a week. Both horses are classy old boys.”
FINISH LINES: Jockey Juan Hernandez will move his tack to the Bay Area following today’s races. The 20-year-old native of Puerto Rico had three wins from 60 mounts at Santa Anita through Friday, with 10 seconds and seven thirds. Ramon Silva will remain his agent . . . La Caňada winner More Chocolate, bound for the Grade I Santa Margarita Stakes on March 16, worked four furlongs Saturday for John Sadler in 48.20 . . . Survivors in ShowVivor were down to nine entering Saturday’s races . . . Santa Anita morning line maker Jon White points out there have been three winning tickets in the Pick Six for four consecutive racing days (Jan. 26, 27 and 31 and Feb. 1) . . . Chila Ali, a first-time starter by Strong Contender in today’s fifth race, is owned by Dennis O’Neill and trained by his brother, Doug. “The horse is named for my wife’s maiden name and Muhammad Ali,” Dennis said.