Gold for Awesome Gem
The Hollywood Park Racecourse once again set the stage in California for the running of the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup. It is a Grade I thoroughbred horse racing event that has a very long history in the horse racing industry, being inaugurated in 1938. Some of the winners at the Hollywood Gold Cup have become legendary, such as Cigar, Affirmed, Citation, Lava Man and Best Pal. Not much has changed since these greats won the title, except for a cushion synthetic dirt track being installed. As usual, the pressure was high and the excitement uncontrollable as the gates swung open for the 2010 Hollywood Gold Cup.
Open to three-year-old horses and older, the Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park attracts a number of worthy contenders each year, and this year was no different. With horses such as Rail Trip, Cigar Man and Richard’s Kid in the lineup, spectators knew they were in for a treat. But Saturday, 10 July 2010, was not to belong to any of these great names, as Awesome Gem, a talented seven-year-old gelding, caused the upset of the year by crossing the finish line in first place. Awesome Gem is trained by Craig Dollase, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and was partnered up with jockey David Flores for the event. The thirty-five career start racing veteran was taken along the rail by Flores, but handled his daring racing style with elegance and determination.
Rail Trip, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, had a lot of ground to make up for, as he was being steered wide in the turns, which gave Awesome Gem a very comfortable advantage. Awesome Gem has always been a very hard worker; one of the reasons that his owners and trainer have never given up on him, or stopped believing in him. Even after suffering disappointing losses, he has always tried his best every time he stepped out onto the racecourse. Now, after settling for four third place finishes and no less than thirteen second places, Awesome Gem has finally found his place in the sun by winning his very first Grade I event. After the race, Dollase commented: "After he crossed the finish line, I had to stand back and make sure. This is very gratifying. A lot of work went into this over the years." Rail Trip finished in second place, followed by Richard’s Kid, Tres Borrachos, Compari and Cigar Man.