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Awesome Gem defeats Rail Trip to win the Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park, Inglewood Calif. July 10, 2010

Awesome Gem (black cap): beats Rail Trip in the Hollywood Gold Cup

  PICTURE: Equisport Photos / Alex Evers  

Veteran Gem sparkles for sire Awesome Again

Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (Grade 1), Hollywood Park 1m2f

AWESOME GEM (7yo ch g Awesome Again - Piano by Pentelicus)

Breeder: Runnymede Farm et al, in the US

VETERAN gelding Awesome Gem captured his first Grade 1 victory in the Hollywood Gold Cup on Saturday, at the age of seven and on his 13th start in top-flight company.

Last year's Hollywood Gold Cup winner Rail Trip (by Jump Start), twice a winner at Grade 2 level this year, was sent off the odds-on favourite for the race, and he looked destined to score one furlong from home when he took up the running.

But Awesome Gem, who had been held up at the back of the pack, made relentless progress in the home straight and overtook Rail Trip in the closing stages. Rail Trip was a half-length second, with Richard's Kid (Lemon Drop Kid) third.

It was a deserved first Grade 1 win for the Craig Dollase-trained Awesome Gem, having finished a nose second to Tiago in the 2007 Goodwood Stakes and a fast-finishing one-length second to Student Council in the Pacific Classic also that year.

He becomes the tenth individual Grade 1 winner by his sire, Awesome Again, who stands at Adena Springs in Kentucky.

A 16-year-old son of Deputy Minister and half-brother to Breeders' Cup Juvenile hero Macho Uno, Awesome Again won a competitive renewal of the Breeders' Cup Classic in 1998,beating Silver Charm and Swain into the places with Skip Away, Touch Gold and Victory Gallop further down the field.

He appears to be passing on his class, with his best progeny including the outstanding Ghostzapper, six-time Grade 1 winner Ginger Punch and Breeders' Cup Juvenile scorer Wilko.

Awesome Gem's dam, Piano, is an unraced daughter of Pentelicus and a half-sister to the high-class mare J'Jsdream, from the family of Grade 1 winners Royal Indy and Wildcat Heir, and fair sire Louis Quatorze.

 

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