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Tyler Baze celebrates after Majestic Harbor wins the Gold Cup at Santa Anita. (Photos by Eclipse Sportswire)

There was something different about this year’s running of the Gold Cup at Santa Anita and it wasn’t just the location.

Game On Dude won the last two editions of what was called the Hollywood Gold Cup when it was contested at now-shuttered Hollywood Park, but in Saturday’s race at Santa Anita the 7-year-old gelding was nowhere to be found at the finish.

The 4-5 favorite was a soundly beaten fourth in the mile and a quarter test. While he was nicely positioned in second on the backstretch behind the pace-setting Fury Kapcori, he came up empty in the stretch and finished 12 ½ lengths behind the victorious Majestic Harbor.

For Game On Dude, Saturday’s performance was not something new. He has tasted disappointment before and rebounded. The last two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Classic come to mind, and this past February he finished fifth in the San Antonio then turned in one of the best performances of his career in taking the Santa Anita Handicap by a length and a half in an electrifying 1:58.17 for the mile and a quarter.

Yet in this instance, the Gold Cup marked a second straight loss after his dazzling Santa Anita Handicap win in which he led through a mile in a blistering 1:32.57. At his advance age, Game On Dude’s 33rd start might be the one that indicates the clock may soon strike midnight on a superb career that has produced $6.4 million in earnings.

At the very least, while his resiliency may very well resurface again, there’s no compelling reason to place Game On Dude on the Hot List and follow him in his next race.

Meanwhile, two other horses in the field of seven were added to the Hot List.

The victorious Majestic Harbor was 6 ¼ lengths ahead of the runner-up Clubhouse Ride in capturing his first Grade 1 victory and was clearly a deserving winner as he moved four-wide on the final turn and drew off in the stretch. It was a breakthrough victory for the 6-year-old horse but he seems to relish distances beyond nine furlongs. If he was targeting the Whitney at Saratoga, we’d stay away but with his connections leaning toward the mile and a quarter Pacific Classic at Del Mar, we’ll tag along giving him a “B” on the Hot List.

Fury Kapcori received a “D” through the Hot List’s monitoring of late wagering as he dropped from 9-2 to 7-2 in the final two minutes but finished off the board in winding up sixth.

While a mile and a quarter against Grade 1 company was too tough of an assignment for him, the speed he flashed to grab the early lead over Game On Dude bodes well for his chances when he returns to a more suitable spot, such as a Grade 2 or 3 stakes.

Hot List horses: Majestic Harbor (B), Fury Kapcori (D)

Gold Cup at Santa Anita Late Wagering Report

Horse No.

Odds – 2 min. to post

Final Odds

1

3/5

4/5                           

2

9/2

7/2

3

6

5

4

6

6

5

20

24

6

14

14

7

20

24

HOT LIST GRADED STAKES REVIEW: The $300,000 Grade 1 Mother Goose              

By Shawn Rychling

Heading into the Mother Goose at Belmont Park, Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable looked absolutely unbeatable on paper. But then, just a few strides into race, we saw why the races are run on the track and not on paper.  Just after the start, Untapable was trying to get to the front on the rail when Princess Violet – a rival to her outside – came over and forced Untapable to check hard and lose a little ground.

After that scare, the 3-year-old by Tapit showed us why she is the top filly in the country by regaining her composure and slipping out into the 3-path for clear running.  From there Untapable rated well just off the front-running Princess Violet through a quick half in :45.95 and strong ¾ of a mile in 1:09.65.  Jockey John Velazquez gently asked his mount for more midway on the far turn and Untapable moved easily to the lead and widened it to 9 ¼ lengths by the finish line. 

UNTAPABLE AFTER HER MOTHER GOOSE VICTORY

Untapable Graded Stakesinside

In the end, the race was little more than a public workout for Untapable as she remains unbeaten as a 3-year-old. It was her fourth straight win and sixth victory in eight career starts.  There are now some whispers from trainer Steve Asmussen that he may try racing his filly against the boys later this summer. As for the Mother Goose, Untapable earns an ‘A’ for the impressive effort as we look forward to her next start, regardless of the competition.

No other horse earned a letter for the race, but the place horse, Princess Violet, is a pretty decent New York-bred even if she was no match for the winner.  Also, House Rules ran fourth for Allen Jerkens and may run better next time after she was also bothered somewhat when Princess Violet came over to the rail shortly after the start.

HOT LIST LETTERS

A – Untapable

Mother Goose Late Wagering Report

Horse No.

Odds – 5 min. to post

Final Odds

1

11

9                                

2

1/9

1/9

3              

11

8

4

21

19

5

35

32

The Hot List, founded by turf writer/handicapper Bob Ehalt in 2011, blends a detailed analysis of a race with late wagering trends to pick out the horses with the best chance of running a winning race in their next start. Hot List horses are rated in four lettered categories:

A : A preferred horse to watch off his effort in the race                   
B : A secondary horse to watch off his effort in the race                                   
*C: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 1st through 3rd
*D: Went down 2 or more betting notches in the final minutes of wagering and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

For questions on the Hot List, email: nyhotlist@gmail.com

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

Image Description

Bob Ehalt

Bob Ehalt has been an avid fan of Thoroughbred racing since that day in June of 1971 when he and his father walked from their Queens Village, N.Y., home to Belmont Park to see Canonero II fall short in his bid for the Triple Crown. A veteran sports writer and correspondent for Thoroughbred Times magazine, Bob has covered horse racing for more than 20 years and has won three awards in the Associated Press Sports Editors national writing contest for his coverage of the sport.

Now working at the New Haven Register in Connecticut, Bob has also owned Thoroughbreds since 1995 and was a member of the syndicate that raced Tale of the Cat. He also writes a racing blog for ESPNNewYork.com and is the co-founder of the New York Hot List handicapping service, which is offered at InterBets.com.

His NTRA.com blog received first-place honors in the 2008-09 Breeders' Cup Media Awards, winning in the initial year of competition in the Social Media category.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BobEhalt

 

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