The Dude is coming! Multiple-graded-stakes winner and racing superstar Game on Dude was retired to Old Friends Oct. 3, the Thoroughbred Retirement Center in Georgetown, KY.
Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement in a press release.
Campaigned by trainer Bob Baffert and owned by a partnership that includes Joe Torre’s Diamond Pride, the Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable, and Bernie Schiappa, the 7-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again was retired from racing on September 18 following one of the most prestigious campaigns in history, the press release states.
Game on Dude holds the distinction of being the only horse to ever capture three runnings of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. His Big ‘Cap victory in 2014 came at a near-American record time of 1:58 flat, which was the fastest time in the race’s 79-year history.In addition, he is only the second horse in history to sweep California’s three Grade I handicaps¬–the Santa Anita Handicap, the Hollywood Gold Cup, and the Pacific Classic– in the same year.
In his 34 career starts Game on Dude captured 16 wins, eight of them grade I stakes, and earnings of just under $6.5 million.
“We are thrilled that Bob Baffert and the owners of Game on Dude are entrusting Old Friends with their spectacular racehorse,” said Michael Blowen. “It’s such an honor to show him off to all of his fans and visitors. Over the last few weeks, Bob asked a lot of detailed questions about his care,” Blowen added. “Now I know how the people of Cleveland felt when LeBron James signed with the Cavs.”
“It feels like we are sending our child off to camp for five years,” said Baffert via telephone. “[My wife] Jill and I have been supporters of Old Friends and we really felt Game on Dude needed to be somewhere where he would be loved on–he is such a sweet horse, such a good soul, and we know there will be a lot of interaction there.”
Currently, arrangements are being made for Game on Dude’s flight to Kentucky via the Tex Sutton Forwarding Co. and arrival times will be announced when they are confirmed. A press event as well as a public viewing will be scheduled. ♥