Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: September 28, 2012 -- 2:10 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes comes our way from Santa Anita this Saturday, September 29 and is just one of three Grade 1 races on the packed card. Three year olds will go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's main track for a share of the $250,000 purse. The Awesome Again, just like the other Grade 1 races on the Saturday schedule is a Win and Your In qualifier for the Breeders' Cup that will be raced later this Autumn at Santa Anita.

The Awesome Again has attracted a quality field of nine to go in race 10 on Santa Anita's Saturday card. Post time is 5:38 PM. Let's take a look at the past performances of all nine and what should play out on Saturday in the last of the three Grade 1 events in California.

Horse Racing Rebates

2012 Awesome Again Stakes Race Favorites

Game on Dude is a multiple Grade 1 winner that is in the thick of the Horse of the Year conversation and will likely head into the Breeders' Cup as favorite barring a collapse on Saturday. He rebounded very nicely from a disappointing twelfth in the Dubai World Cup with a terrific win in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes on June 2 over Kettle Corn and then followed it up with another impressive score in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup. Last time out was a decent second in the Grade 1 Pacific Stakes. That makes three wins in five starts this year with one second. He nearly did enough to capture the Eclipse Award for Outstanding older males in 2011 with three graded stakes wins- the Goodwood Stakes and the Santa Anita Handicap and he finished second at the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs prior to Dubai. Bob Baffert trained Game On Dude has placed in 11 of his last 13 starts, is four for four at Santa Anita and is unquestionably the horse to beat.

Richard's Kid - He is coming off an OK third last time out in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic right behind Game on Dude and a win before that in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap here on July 27 to follow another second to Game On Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup and a win in the minor Prove It Stakes. Richard's Kid has placed in four straight races including two wins and appears in good form ahead of this latest showdown with Game on Dude.

Awesome Again Stakes 2012 | Remaining Field Entries

Rail Trip - seven year old gelding that has had some success - wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup and the Grade 2 Californian - but that was back in 2009 and 2010. It took until the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on July 28 for Rail Trip to win again - a very impressive score after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a fourth in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Handicap this year. Last time out was a fourth behind many of the Awesome Again contenders in the Pacific Classic.

Nonios - made his graded stakes debut in the Grade 3 Affirmed and impressively defeated the likes of Liaison and followed it up with another impressive result - a second in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes on July 4. He posted another good second in the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth on July 29 before a somewhat disappointing fifth last time out in the Grade 1 Travers. Lightly raced Nonios has three wins two seconds and a third place finish in seven career starts and is a sneaky entry to the Awesome Again.

Awesome Again Stakes betting at Santa Anita with

Suggestive Boy - made his US debut with a very impressive second in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile on June 30 and followed that with a win in the Wickerr Stakes on July 25 after a very successful career in South America. Last time out he was fifth in that staked Pacific Classic race at Del Mar on August 26. Suggestive Boy won three straight races before shipping to North America and has now won four of his last six but will try dirt for the first time on Saturday.

Winning Machine - has two wins, a second and a third place finish in five starts this year - the last result being a close second in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile Handicap. Prior to that was a third place finish and a pair of wins in minor stakes races in the Pacific Northwest. Saturday marks Winning Machine's first race outside the Pacific Northwest and it may be the best competition he's faced.

Groovin' Solo - six career starts and only one win to show for it - a Maiden Special Weight race at Santa Anita December 30. Last time out Groovin` Solo was tenth in the Grade 2 San Felipe after a seventh in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on February 4.

Empire Way - Has one win in 10 career starts. He finished ninth and fourth in a pair of Allowance races at Hollywood Park earlier this year and then went on to a pedestrian seventh in the Grade 2 Swaps. In the last two starts (both Allowance Optional Claiming) Empire Way has posted a seventh and sixth respectively.

Balladry - finished second in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita on January 14 prior to a fifth in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes. He won an Allowance at Hollywood Park on April 29 and followed it up with a pair of thirds - last time out in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap July 27 and before that at the Prove It Stakes at Hollywood Park on June 8.

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OTB Schedule - Thursday, Sep 29

Race Tracks Time (EST)
Australia A 9:50 PM
Australia B 10:30 PM
Australia C 11:27 PM
Belmont Park 1:30 PM
Belterra Park 1:30 PM
Charles Town 7:00 PM
Charlottetown 6:30 PM
Daytona Beach Mat 1:04 PM
Dayton Raceway 6:15 PM
Evangeline Downs 6:35 PM
Finger Lakes 1:09 PM
Flamboro Downs 6:00 PM
Freehold Raceway 12:29 PM
Harrahs Philly (Chester) 12:39 PM
Harrington Raceway 5:00 PM
Jacksonville Eve 7:45 PM
Lone Star Park 7:35 PM
Mohawk 7:30 PM
Monmouth at Meadowlands 7:00 PM
Monticello Raceway 12:49 PM
Palm Beach Mat 12:59 PM
Penn National 6:00 PM
Plainridge 12:59 PM
Presque Isle 5:25 PM
Red Mile 7:00 PM
Remington Park 8:07 PM
Rideau Carleton 6:30 PM
Rosecroft Raceway 6:40 PM
Sanford Mat 1:30 PM
Saratoga Harness 4:00 PM
Southland Mat 5:00 PM
Tri-State Eve 7:00 PM
Vernon Downs 6:45 PM
Yonkers Raceway 7:10 PM

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