Game On Dude heads Baffert quartet

Updated: May 26, 2011, 11:48 AM ET
By Mary Rampellini | Daily Racing Form



GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Game On Dude, who in March won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, will lead a contingent of four horses trainer Bob Baffert plans to run Monday on the Million Day card of stakes at Lone Star Park.

"The timing is good for these races," Baffert said.

Game On Dude will start as the 123-pound highweight in the Grade 3, $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap, which is the main event on a card of six stakes. Baffert said Wednesday that he also plans to run either Coil or Uncle Sam in the $200,000 Lone Star Derby; American Lady in the $75,000 Cinemine; and Irish Gypsy in the $75,000 Valid Expectations.

Jockey Martin Garcia will likely be aboard all four starters, Baffert said. Last year, Garcia won the Cinemine and Valid Expectations with Baffert trainees Bonnie Blue Flag and Mother Ruth.

On another Texas trip last meet, Garcia shipped in and took the Lone Star Derby with Game On Dude. Baffert said the win was one reason to bring Game On Dude back for the Lone Star Handicap.

"I thought we'd bring him in there because he won on that track," he said. "And the timing is good. After this, he'll run in the Gold Cup at Hollywood Park."

Game On Dude will come into the Lone Star Handicap off a runner-up finish in the Grade 3, $1 million Charles Town Classic on April 16. He is scheduled to fly in from his Southern California base on Saturday.

American Lady will make her stakes debut in the Cinemine, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies. She won a maiden special weight at Santa Anita in her last start April 16, with a Beyer Speed Figure of 96. In her final prep for the Cinemine, she worked six furlongs in 1:10.60 at Santa Anita on May 23.

"She's a very nice filly," Baffert said. "She broke her maiden first out, then got sick, and now is doing well again."

Baffert will be seeking his fifth Lone Star Derby win Monday, with either Uncle Sam, the runner-up in the $72,000 Alydar at Hollywood in his last start May 8, or Coil, who won a first-level allowance sprint at the same track in his last start, with a Beyer of 106.

The Lone Star Derby will be held on turf for the first time since its inaugural running in 1997, and the race would be the first on grass for either Uncle Sam or Coil.

Irish Gypsy has placed in three straight stakes heading into the Valid Expectations, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares. The other Million Day stakes are the $150,000 Dallas Turf Cup and the Grade 3, $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff.

O'Neill sending Thirtyfirststreet

Thirtyfirststreet will make his turf debut Monday in the Lone Star Derby, trainer Doug O'Neill said. He will invade from Hollywood after finishing a close-up third in last month's $150,000 Snow Chief.

"He ran a real game race," O'Neill said.

Thirtyfirststreet earned a career-high Beyer of 86 for his effort in the 1 1/8-mile Snow Chief. He made an equipment change for the race, adding blinkers.

"We noticed that maybe puts him in the race a little more early, doesn't give him as much to do," O'Neill said. "I don't know how much they mean to him, but we were happy with his performance."

O'Neill said Chris Landeros has the mount. Thirtyfirststreet will fly in Saturday. O'Neill said the Lone Star Derby has long been a target for the horse, who has some pedigree for the grass.

"It's been in our sights," he said, "and everything so far is coming together. It's good timing-wise, and he's on his game. He's ready to go."

Thirtyfirststreet is by the Nureyev stallion Good Journey.

Berry first guest for morning program

Cliff Berry, who is the all-time leading rider at Lone Star, will be the initial guest for a morning workout, interview, and stable tour program that launches Saturday. The Jockeys and Java series will begin at 8:30 a.m. Central in the courtyard of champions alongside the grandstand at Lone Star. A barn tour will follow, beginning at 10 a.m.

Jockeys and Java is free to the public, and there also is breakfast provided. The host is Lone Star track announcer John Lies.

The program will be held each Saturday through the close of the meet July 10.