$500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park

Rob Gregorka
Updated: July 7, 2011 -- 4:40 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV -- One of the most important horse races this weekend will be the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park on Saturday, and ESPN will be showing the race live. The 72nd running of the Gold Cup is part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" series so the winner of this race will get an automatic spot in the $5 million dollar Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.

Twirling Candy 4-5 Favorite
The big favorite in the Hollywood Gold Cup is Twirling Candy, who is listed at 4-5 in the morning line horse betting odds. Twirling Candy will start from the rail in the field of eight and be ridden by Joel Rosario. Bob Baffert's pair of horses, Game On Dude and First Dude are expected to be the two challengers to Twirling Candy. First Dude is the second choice on the morning line at 5-1 while Game On Dude is 6-1 in off track betting odds. The rail may not be a problem for Twirling Candy, who has shown the ability to win going wire-to-wire. Twirling Candy has been an excellent horse for off-track betting players, winning seven of his nine starts. With a win on Saturday, Twirling Candy would establish himself as one of the top older males in the country.

Bob Baffert's Horses
The two horses expected to give Twirling Candy some competition are Bob Baffert's First Dude and Game On Dude. In his last two starts, Game On Dude was second and third in the Grade 3 Charles Town Classic Stakes and the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap respectively. First Dude has thrived since being trained by Baffert and after a sixth place finish he won an allowance race in April and then won the Alysheba Stakes in May at Churchill Downs. "They're ready," said Baffert. "We're going to put Game On Dude on the lead. A mile and a quarter is no problem for him. The distance should not be a problem for First Dude either."

... the winner of this race will get an automatic spot in the $5 million dollar Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.

Also in the mix on Saturday in horse betting could be Awesome Gem who won last year's Hollywood Gold Cup and Argentina-bred mare Miss Match. Awesome Gem has won more than $2.5 million dollars in his career and is coming off a second place finish last month in the Cornhusker Handicap. Miss Match is coming off a third place finish in the Vanity Handicap last month. She will be trying to become the first female to win the Gold Cup since Princessnesian in 1968.

Saturday's $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup

Post

Horse

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Twirling Candy

Joel Rosario

4-5

2

Miss Match (ARG)

Joseph Talamo

20-1

3

Setsuko

Victor Espinoza

8-1

4

Game On Dude

Chantal Sutherland

6-1

5

Awesome Gem

David Flores

10-1

6

Soul Candy

Garrett Gomez

10-1

7

First Dude

Martin Garcia

5-1

8

Dark Cove

Rafael Bejarano

12-1

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